TAMALE (Northern Ghana). Tension remains high between the military and the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor over the murder, last December, of Alhaji Issah Mobillah, an ethnic Burkinabé transport owner and chairman of the northern regional Convention People's People (CPP). Members of the Ghanaian armed forces are alleged to have killed Mobillah at the Kamina Barracks here.
Mobillah was brutally killed when he was transferred from police custody to the military on the orders of the regional security council (RSC). The then regional minister, Earnest Debrah (now agriculture minister) had left to campaign in his constituency, in the Brong-Ahafo region and the military commander had also left for peace-support operations in Liberia. His replacement was from the Sunyani garrison in the Brong-Ahafo, who allegedly instructed the RSC meeting that the CPP chairman and 'all the bad guys' in Tamale should be dealt with. The acting regional minister endorsed.
An ex-soldier is reported to have said, on a mobile phone, that the instructions to 'finish' Mobillah had come from above. Under pressure from opposition MPs and Amnesty International, three low ranking soldiers are to be charged for Mobillah's murder. But there are doubts that the government would bring the three to court for fear of mutiny by the troops.
There are allegations that Mobillah's murder was part of the plan to eliminate all popular known opponents of the government, including former information minister Alhaji Ibrahim Mahama. He was the first person to run into exile since Kufuor took over power in 2001. At present, he is in Burkina Faso protected by the powerful king of the Moshie.