A former Spokesperson of the defunct Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) Major retired Osahene Kojo Boakye-Djan has shared his honest view about the recent Ejura shooting incident that led to the death of two persons with four others sustaining severe injuries.
The arbitrary shooting of protesters in Ejura in the Ashanti Region became the hot topic in Ghana following the death of Kaaka, a #fixthecountry activist in which the military was deployed to restore calm.
According to Boakye Djan, the military manual on training its personnel does not allow for shooting above the knee in order to cause death in situations other than war.
He added that the military men deployed to disperse the unarmed protestors in Ejura could have used tear gas and water hose to disperse the crowd rather than aiming bullets at the unarmed civilians, describing their action as unprofessional.
Major (Ret) Boakye Gyan said it was highly unmilitaristic for a soldier to shoot young boys running away at the sight of the military men in Ejura and even if it came to the point of shooting there were certain precautionary measures to take before shooting as the military training manual dictates.
He, therefore, described the killing in Ejura as an “aimed shot” directed to kill rather than control the upheaval in the enclave.
Major (Ret.) Boakye Gyan posited that in his assessment the soldiers deployed to Ejura to control the crowd were not trained personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces. Because, Ghanaian soldiers are trained to go and defend the peace in other countries so how can they fail in their own countries.
He has thus entreated the military to investigate the debacle in Ejura because to him he does not believe they were real soldiers.
In an interview with Yaa Titi Okrah on Onua FM’s Pae Mu Ka programme, he insisted that trained soldiers will not dare to behave arbitrarily in the manner exhibited in Ejura.
“What is happening in the country resulting in the castigation of soldiers and military personnel saddens my heart. For example what happened in Ejura where the protesters were running away and were shot from behind, the manual does not allow that. You make sure you disperse them either using tear gas or water hose or those things but to shoot from behind knowing that they might die is highly unprofessional.
“In any case, if you had to shoot, there must be so many steps to take, you should not shoot from above knee level. What we witnessed was an aim shot, sorry I have to use that term because their practice was not that of soldiers. I strongly believe the one who shot the civilians was not a trained soldier, he can’t even be a trained police officer”, the veteran officer declared.