Minority Want Defense Minister To Resign Over Military Raid In Northern Region

The Minority in Parliament has called for the resignation of Defense Minister Dominic Nitiwul over the burning of some mining equipment by personnel of the military at Kumbungu in the Northern Region.

Armed infantries of the Sixth Battalion deployed from their military base in Kamina Barracks in Tamale, Saturday, March 3, carried out the combative operation to intensify a crackdown on illegal sand miners along the White River.

According to reports, dozens of heavy sand mining machines including about fourteen (14) tipper trucks and an excavator were burnt by the soldiers who stormed the area by trucks.

Member of Parliament for the area Ras Mubarak has condemned the action of the soldiers describing it undemocratic.

In a statement, the minority said although they do not condone illegal mining, they are “at a loss, at the justification for adopting instant justice to deal with alleged perpetrators of illegal sand winning without recourse to the law courts”.

The statement added: “We further demand the immediate resignation of the Minister for Defense, who has sought to justify the dastardly act of the military; the resignation of the Northern Regional Minister who we understand, as head of the Regional Security Council, gave orders for the perpetration of this heinous act; the resignation of the DCE for Kumbungu, who was aloof while these acts of violence were committed against his own people”.

Below are details of the statement by the minority

MINORITY CONDEMNS MILITARY OPERATIONS IN KUMBUNGU DISTRICT

The Minority Caucus of the Northern Region condemns in the strongest of terms the brutish and callous manner in which a detachment of the military under the directions of the Regional Security Council, seized and burnt fourteen (14) tipper trucks, an excavator and several motorbikes in the Afa Yile community of the Dalun electoral area in the Kumbungu District.

Indeed, it came to the attention of the Minority Caucus in parliament that on Saturday March 3, 2018, at about 11:am, a group of drivers while winning sand at a place determined for them by the Northern Region Security Council, were pounced upon by a contingent of military personnel ostensibly to arrest them.

While not condoning any activity that adversely impacts the environment and compromises the ability of the Ghana Water Company to continue to deliver portable water to consumers within its catchment area, the Minority Caucus is at a loss, at the justification for adopting instant justice to deal with alleged perpetrators of illegal sand winning without recourse to the law courts.

The threats to our natural resources is something that must be of concern to all well-meaning Ghanaians, but that obviously should not give anybody the impudence to act with impunity .

It is important to state that, the state in all its constitution has a duty to protect lives and property of its citizens. The protection of property is more acute and demanding in the Northern Region, considering that the region is one of the poorest regions of the country.

We are by this statement calling for a full scale investigation into the operation and the circumstances leading to the assault on the persons who were in charge of the vehicles at the time, the burning down of those vehicles and equipment, and the alleged confiscation of monies belonging to those who were brutalized.

We further demand the immediate resignation of the Minister for Defense, who has sought to justify the dastardly act of the military; the resignation of the Northern Regional Minister who we understand, as head of the Regional Security Council, gave orders for the perpetration of this heinous act; the resignation of the DCE for Kumbungu, who was aloof while these acts of violence were committed against his own people.

We further call for compensation to be paid to those who have lost property and those who suffered personal injuries as a result of this illegal, unwarranted and uncalled for operation.
 

Source: Ghana/The Guardian