No wonder that Ghanaians are having such a difficult time coming to grips and terms with resolving security headaches like the recent Asante-Ejura Disturbances that left at least two protest demonstrators dead, when soldiers who had been called in to steady things up reportedly fired live bullets and munitions into the crowd. The Koomson Commission that was established by Mr. Ambrose Dery, the Interior Minister, was supposed to investigate the complex set of circumstances that culminated in the decision by the Asante Regional Minister, Mr. Simon Osei-Mensah, to send in the platoon of soldiers that ended this violent demonstration.
Predictably, the simple-minded President of the so-called IMANI-Africa think-tank, Mr. Franklin Cudjoe, the infamous Trokosi Reactionary Nationalist, would have the rest of the nation and, indeed, the world believe that the Koomson Commission’s investigative purview or terms of reference only had to do with the relatively superficial question of who gave the order for the military to enter Ejura and promptly quell the violent demonstration directly provoked by the brutal mauling death of 45-year-old Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed (See “Ejura Committee’s Work Should’ve Ended After Regional Minister’s Admission – Franklin Cudjoe” Modernghana.com 7/11/21).
The fact of the matter is that the purview of the Koomson Commission was more about the murky set of circumstances that culminated in the brutal murder or possible assassination of Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed. Nobody is using the politically fraught terminology of “assassination,” although nearly every single news report points to the fact of the slain man’s having welled up a groundswell of notoriety or at least localized infamy because Mr. Mohammed had become a vehement and hard-punching critic of the Akufo-Addo-led government of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), especially where the economic development of Ejura’s Zongo community was concerned.
Matters have also not been helped by the fact that the late Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed has, in some news reports, been described as a bona fide member and operative of the ruling New Patriotic Party. So, it would be interesting to unearth precisely why he came to be perceived as a formidable threat to the interests of his own party, although I am personally inclined to suspect that the deceased was at the very least an avid sympathizer of the country’s main opposition National Democratic Congress. What is equally important for the Koomson Commission to uncover is the fact of whether, indeed, the demonstrators in Ejura were dead-set on setting the municipality’s police station on fire, as well as the fact of whether these protesters were hell-bent on summarily executing or killing the two criminal suspects alleged to have been arrested and detained at the Ejura Police Station in connection with the murder of Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed.
IMANI-Africa’s Franklin Cudjoe cannot so facilely and peevishly presume to appreciate the terms of reference of the Koomson Commission better than the members of the Commission themselves. Or could he? Of course, it is quite obvious that Mr. Cudjoe is far less interested in finding a definitive and constructive and far-reaching resolution and solution to the Ejura Disturbances than being afforded prime grist, in the form of perceived administrative shortcomings and/or deficiencies to jump upon as a cudgel or nightstick with which to vitriolically and caustically lambaste the Akufo-Addo Administration, as he has been doing for quite sometime now. It is also inexcusably absurd for the IMANI Institute’s President to so simplistically claim that it was the intervention of the military in Ejura that caused things to “escalate” or spiral out of hand and control.
The fact of the matter is that but for the timely intervention of the military and the quick-thinking of Mr. Osei-Mensah, that is, the Asante Regional Minister, there can be absolutely no doubt that these unruly demonstrators would have set the entire Ejura Township on fire. Indeed, even as the Chief of Ejura reportedly informed the visiting members of the Koomson Commission, some negative human elements have recently swarmed the Ejura Municipality who appeared to be hell-bent on throwing the longstanding peace and quiet of the Township out of kilter or completely off-balance. These are all matters that need to be thoroughly explored and examined by the members of the Koomson Commission, if worthwhile and lasting peace, security and prosperity are to be promptly restored and preserved for the long haul in Ejura. Put even more poignantly, it is not about the whimsical fantasy of self-infatuated political mischief-makers and cynical charlatans like IMANI Institute’s Mr. Franklin Cudjoe. Definitely not at all.
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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., PhD
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
July 11, 2021
E-mail: [email protected]