Friday, 19 July

NDC criticises GAF for concealing NPP candidate's identity in public caution on incitement against soldiers

General News
Ghana Armed Forces

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed disappointment with the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) for failing to directly address Mr. Ernest Frimpong, the NPP Parliamentary Candidate in the Amenfi East Constituency, for his call to illegal miners to attack soldiers attempting to stop their activities.

In a statement, the GAF cautioned the public against inciting violence against soldiers following a viral video showing Mr. Frimpong encouraging such attacks. The NDC, however, criticized the GAF for not mentioning Mr. Frimpong by name in their warning.

The NDC's statement, signed by Deputy National Organiser Elikem Kotoko, questioned whether the GAF had been compromised along political lines, accusing Brigadier General E. Aggrey-Quashie, Director General of Public Relations, of concealing details and showing cowardice by not addressing Mr. Frimpong directly.

The NDC emphasized that the GAF must protect innocent junior ranks from reckless statements and announced plans to lodge an official complaint with the CID of the Ghanaian Police Service to ensure justice is served for past and potential victims of such incitement.

 

Below are details of the full statement:

GAF CAUTIONS AGAINST CALLS FOR ATTACKS ON SOLDIERS - No. 39

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has taken notice of a viral video on social media inciting illegal miners (galamsayers) to attack any soldier(s) found on their sites on patrol.

In the said video, one Mr. Ernest Frimpong, the Parliamentary Candidate (of the New Patriotic Party, NPP) in the Amenfi East Constituency of the Western Region made other damning submissions. He mentioned that #OperationGalamStop, #OperationVanguard, #OperationHalt I & II have all been suspended by his NPP government therefore galamsayers are given the green light to mine without any inhibitions from anyone especially the Police and Military.

Further, Mr Ernest Frimpong assured his audience of creating a WhatsApp platform which will serve the purpose of protecting them should any person in uniform try to prevent them from carrying out their galamsey. He went on to indicate that both the MCE and Regional Minister will be put on the said WhatsApp platform for prompt action anytime any of the miners drop an SOS or distress audio of being visited by soldiers.

It was in this video that Mr. Ernest Frimpong charged the galamsayers to attack any officer who visits their sites to halt their activities.

In less than 72hrs after the video of Ernest Frimpong surfaced, there was news of an attack by miners on a soldier in Wassa Akyempim which then triggered your release No. 39 dated June 10, 2024.

It was therefore expected that you, the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) would have been unambiguous in condemning the video which is presumed to have given fodder to those who attacked one of your men.

1. Unless the GAF, once the most disciplined and revered institution in Ghana has become compromised along political lines, one wonders WHY the author of your release, Brigadier General E. Aggrey-Quashie (Director General, Public Relations) will conceal the detail of calling out the person(s) found in the viral video and warning them directly instead of displaying cowardice by rather cautioning the general public.

2. The GAF cannot suddenly become so spineless and lose its denture to the extent that it fears to call out the name of the person who called for the attacks on soldiers; we do not want to believe this is because Ernest Frimpong belongs to the political party which the Commander-in-Chief of the GAF, President Nana Akufo-Addo also belong.

3. If the GAF continues in this manner, it loses respect and that will pose a future danger for this country. We don't want to think the GAF wants to record a Major Mahama-like incident (unfortunate as it was) again before it acts bluntly on the irresponsible comments of the NPP parliamentary candidate, Mr. Ernest Frimpong.

4. Rather than spend time cautioning the general public in your 5-paragraphed release on information they already know, be bold, confident, courageous and assertively stern to call out and caution Mr. Ernest Frimpong: he called for the attacks on your men and NOT the general public.

5. As a responsible state institution, nowhere did you indicate that you have lodged a report at the relevant authority, in this case the Police, and if you indeed have not done that yet, please do. It demonstrates your commitment to the rule of law, due processes and the respect for same.

6. Ghana is preparing for major elections come December 07, 2024 which obviously is a “make or break” for the country and its citizens because the nation’s progress is at stake, if such red flags are not nipped in the bud now, it foretells future danger and will encourage civilian-military confrontations, which is something we as citizens abhor.

7.  To promote the peace, security and safety of citizens you spelt out in your release, be bold, firm, objective and fair in the discharge of your duties as enshrined in the 1992 constitution. We have had other Commanders-in-Chief of the Ghanaian Armed Forces (GAF) and the institution never sunk this low: soldiers are not cowards, they are bold, fearless and at all times disciplined. You must hold these virtues in high esteem at all times regardless of which political party is in power.

8. In the past eight (8) years we have lost too many of your men to civilian actions and not at war fronts, this is disturbing. Mention can be made of…I) Major Mahama in Upper Denkyira II) Private Imoro Sherrif in Ashaiman iii) Lance Corporal Michael Danso in Kasoa

9. If the top hierarchy of the GAF doesn’t find it worthwhile to seek justice for the innocent junior ranks who are put/sent in harm’s way, we in the NDC will deem it a national duty to do so and by this letter will be lodging an official complaint with the CID of the Ghanaian Police Service to ensure that perpetrators of such heinous crimes and Mr Ernest Frimpong who incited illegal miners are brought to book.

In conclusion, just as you encouraged the General public to channel their concerns and grievances through your Department of Public Relations, we want to encourage you to fight for the innocent junior ranks who have become victims of reckless, unguarded, offensive and unlawful, statements such as that of Mr. Ernest Frimpong who seeks to be elected to hold an office in the legislature.

 

Long live the GAF

God bless our homeland Ghana’s Freedom and Justice

 

 

…………signed…………….

Comrade Elikem Kotoko

Deputy National Organiser

+233 (0) 24 470 5778

Source: Classfmonline.com/Emmanuel Mensah