Ejura shooting probe: Brigadier General Joseph Aphor defends Regional Minister's call
The General Commanding Officer, Brigadier General Joseph Aphor further answered that the military didn’t just take over from the Police Service because they were overwhelmed.
The General Officer Commanding the Central Command of the Ghana Armed Forces, Brigadier General Joseph Aphor has justified the Ashanti Regional Minister, Hon Simon Osei Mensah’s decision of calling on the Military for reinforcement in the Ejura clash.
According to him, any delay by the Regional Minister, who doubles as the Regional Security Council chairman would have worsened matters on grounds at Ejura between the Police and civilians.
“We’ve been having emergency meetings like this very often in Kumasi, but in this particular instance, the Chairman of RESEC (Hon Simon Osei Mensah), was not in town when it was happening. So I believe if the action was not taken, eventually it would have been worse. He was in Accra, later on, he called to tell me he was attending a meeting,” he said.
“So I think it wasn't possible for him to have come down to call an emergency meeting even though we have a police commander who in his absence, takes over. But I think at the time, he wasn't around, but if he had been on ground, I believe he would have called an immediate emergency meeting.
When asked if the Regional Security Council would have failed to function in the absence of the Chairman, Brigadier General Joseph Aphor told the committee that “he would have delegated once he's out of town.”
“He will know that he's out of time, then he will then send a message that I'm out of town, (to the police commander) that in case of anything, you take charge as Chairman of RECSEC, that is different but he was in Accra, and he was going to come.”
The General Commanding Officer further answered that the military didn’t just take over from the Police Service because they were overwhelmed. He explained that there was cooperation between the two with the aim of maintaining peace and harmony at Ejura.
“We know when we are to take over, there's a whole lot of procedure that takes place, but with the insurgency sometimes, you carry out the action, and these procedures are worked down.
“But the cooperation between us and the police is been there like I've just said earlier, we do operation ‘calm life’ duties every day since 2019. We do it every time we, have a joint task force, where we meet we briefed each other every day so before they went there, I believe they knew what they were supposed to do, my Lord.”