Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul says his ministry has identified the victims of the military brutality in Wa in the Upper West Region, on Thursday, July 1.
Speaking in Parliament, he stated that the military is ready to apologise to the victims, the residents in Wa and ensure that the victims are taken care of.
Mr Nitiwul revealed that the ministry has already dispatched a team to Wa to investigate what led to the military invasion in the town.
“I can’t understand why that happened, so, I want them to investigate and get to the bottom of the matter. If we sweep matters under the carpet it can create a bigger problem for us. The military would apologise to the people of Wa. We have also identified the people who have been hurt and we will take care of them as well.”
“I want to plead with the people of Ghana that we should be a bit cautious with our utterances in matters like this. We are building a society, we are building a democracy, and the military is a part of that,” he said.
On Thursday, some soldiers were accused of brutalising some residents of Wa in the Upper West Region. The move was allegedly triggered by the theft of a mobile phone supposedly belonging to one of the military officers.
The victims who are mostly commercial tricycle operators, motorists and pedestrians were whipped and made to roll on the bare floor with some forced into gutters nearby.
Several of them are said to have sustained various degrees of injury. Two of them are currently on admission at the Wa Municipal Hospital.
One of the victims, a 29-year-old vulcanizer, Gafur Mahama is suspected to have developed a fracture in his right thigh during the assault. The actions of the military recorded on camera sparked some concerns on social media.
Reacting to the news, the Wa Central MP, Abdul-Rashid Pelpuo, demanded an apology from the military over the brutality meted to some of his constituents.
Speaking to JoyNews, Mr Pelpuo said he expects the military also to take up the medical bills and compensate the victims of the “dehumanising” activity in the city.
For him, the military has caused fear and panic amongst his constituents and must take drastic measures to make amends.
Meanwhile, Parliament has tasked its Defense and Interior Committee to investigate circumstances leading to the assault of the Wa residents.
Some Members of Parliament on Friday during the discussion, were clad in red bands and demanded a parliamentary probe to ensure the culprits are brought to book.
At the end of the discussion, the House decided to investigate the matter and gave the Committee four weeks to present its findings.
However, the Defense Minister says although his outfit has already launched an investigation into the matter, he appreciates Parliament’s decision to conduct its own.
Mr Nitiwul explained that the report from the Parliament’s investigation can go a long way to help with reforms in the military.
“I agree that if there is a way to ensure that the military is not the first point of call when there is an issue in terms of civilian control, I will be very excited. We should be able to help the police do that effectively.”
“When the report and the findings are ready we will make it public to the people and make the measures also public. Our aim is to ensure that that never happens again,” he added.
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