A renowned security expert, Prof. Kwesi Aning has warned recurrences of youth uprising may heighten if the government does not swiftly move to address concerns of the youngsters in the country.
Aning, the Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, blamed the unrest in Ejura that led to the killing of two (2) Monday on the lack of political will to address the challenges confronting the youth.
A joint armed military and police personnel Monday indiscriminately shot into a crowd that was protesting the death of a social media activist who was attacked by unknown assailants last week.
The social activist, Ibrahim Muhammed (Kaaka) died on Monday, June 28, 2021, after he was attacked by a mob when he was returning home on his motorbike on Sunday.
He’s alleged to have been killed because of his social activism, which some felt was making the government unpopular.
The police have launched investigations into the matter but the youth in the area have vowed not to relent until Kaaka’s family gets justice.
But Prof. Kwesi Aning does not see the incident as an isolated one.
In an interview on Joy News PM Express, the academic stated the unrest was a representation of a widespread sentiment of frustration harboured over the period.
“Ejura is only a symbolic representation of the frustrations across this country. Quite a number of our own leaders have spoken about youth frustration, unemployment, as a toxic mix. Ejura has demonstrated that we’ve now moved from the rhetoric of seeming to be concerned,” he observed.
He added, “When the State and its representatives over time, signal to people, that they don’t matter, it contributes to building frustrations.”
“We need to say, ‘look, how do we improve our policing so that it doesn’t tip over these aspects of people’s frustrations,” he warned.
To him, the killing in the Ashanti Regional town could have been avoided if intelligence gathering by the security agencies had been effective.
Meanwhile, the government has come under severe criticism for the unrest which many believe stemmed from the prevention of the youth rallying behind the hashtag #Fixthecountry to hit the streets to demand better governance.
Last week, Attorney-General (AG) argued that it was impossible for the conveners to be allowed to organize a physical protest due to the possible Covid 19 repercussions.
Despite holding a funeral for his party’s former General Secretary, Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John, where thousands of mourners, including the president and his appointees gathered, the A-G defended his stance.
“Restrictions have been imposed by circumstances that we all know (Covid 19) and there is nowhere in this world that demonstrations are allowed”, he added.
It is believed that the government’s attempt to suppress the protesters and a restriction order secured from court by the police which hitherto was quashed by an Accra High Court is fuelling the frustration among most citizens.