The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Navrongo Central in the Upper East Region has vehemently spoken against the military assaults on some members of the Nayagnia community – a suburb of Navrongo, last week.
There were reports last week of how some soldiers beat up about seven residents of the community which shares boundaries with Doba, one of the feuding communities placed under a curfew following a renewed dispute between the people of Doba and Kandiga Traditional Areas.
The soldiers, who were said to be on patrol duties, were returning from the inner side of Doba towards Mirigu when the incident happened.
A watchman, performing his night duties at the Nayagnia CHPS compound, was seriously assaulted and left injured. Many of the other victims were also left with various injuries to part of their bodies.
The victims lodged a complaint with the Navrongo Police station, where they were issued with medical forms to seek health attention.
The NDC, which is not happy about the incident which has since left residents terrified, has called on authorities to make amends for failing to clearly define the boundaries of the areas to the security personnel enforcing the curfew.
In a statement signed and issued by the party’s constituency scribe, Dr. Selanwiah S. Abdul-Mumin, and copied to the media, the party blamed the Municipal Chief Executive (MCE) and Upper East Regional Minister for the Military cruelty on the victims.
It said an incident of that nature would not have happened if the two rightly performed their duties.
The party entreated President Akufo-Addo to call the MCE and Regional Minister to order and swiftly fully compensate the victims and replace the properties destroyed by the soldiers.
On the imposition of the curfew on the areas, as part of measures to bring the disturbances under control, the NDC said the MCE (MUSEC) and Regional Minister (REGSEC) do not have the authority to exercise such power. The party stated that the” curfew was legally in doubt”.
The NDC urged the Police and authorities in the area to take into consideration the deadly Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and release the 34 suspects arrested in connection with the disturbances.
It said releasing them was necessary and in line with the President’s directive on social distancing to prevent people from contracting the virus.
The party urged the MCE and Regional Minister not to play politics with the dispute but expedite efforts to find lasting solutions to return peace to the areas.
Below is the full statement from the Navrongo NDC:
The MCE and the Regional Minister must be called to order Military brutalities meted on innocent citizens in Nayagnia; People were beaten mercilessly and properties destroyed outside the catchment area of the curfew. As a result, people living in and around Nayagnia are living in fear even though they are not part of the impasse.
MCE and the Regional Minister have failed in their line of duty to clearly define areas of the curfew to the security personnel that has led to the meting out of injustice to the people of Nayagnia.
We entreat on the President of the Republic to call the MCE and the Regional Minister to order, and as a matter of urgency fully compensate the innocent victims and replace the properties destroyed. The MCE and the Regional minister must apologise to the people of Nayagnia and assure them of freedom as enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of Ghana so they can go about their normal daily activities without fear and panic.
The mandate of the MCE and the Regional Minister to impose a curfew is legally in doubt. Legal effect of a curfew in Ghana is governed by the public order Act, 1994 (Act 491). Section 4 of Act 491 vests the power to impose a curfew in the Minister for Interior. On imposing a curfew, the Minister is enjoined to notify parliament as soon as practicable thereafter. It does not rest in the bottom of the MCE and MUSEC or the Regional Minister or even REGSEC to impose a curfew.
The Upper East region is currently battling with Covid-19 and CSM. As we speak 34 of the people of the affected areas have been arrested and put before bars and their health needs cannot be guaranteed. We are not sure the social distancing policy as directed by the President of the Republic is dully adhered to. We therefore call on the immediate release of these 34 people from police custody to prevent them from contracting the deadly Corona Virus. We also call for the right steps into imposing a curfew if there need be.
The people of the affected areas have lived in peace for a very long time and have intermarried from those communities. They have long lived like brothers and sisters as they are all Nankani speaking people. As we surge towards elections 2020, It is the responsibility of the MCE and the Regional Minister to expedite actions in order to bring a lasting solution to the impasse. At this critical moment we expect them to eschew all forms of political shenanigans and put the peoples first in dealing with this situation.
Dr. Selanwiah S. Abdul-Mumin
Constituency Secretary, NDC, Navrongo Central Constituency