Killed soldier laid to rest - Ashaiman residents demand justice
The remains of the soldier who was allegedly killed at Taifa, a suburb of Ashaiman, were laid to rest at the Military Cemetery at Burma Camp in Accra yesterday.
Private Imoro Sherrif, a trumpeter of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) Band at the 3 Garrison in Sunyani, was suspected to have been stabbed to death on Saturday, March 4, 2023.
Family members, friends, colleague soldiers and other well-wishers were at the cemetery to bid farewell to the young soldier.
The solemn burial ceremony was characterised by military honours and Islamic service, led by the National Chief Imam, Sheik Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, who prayed for the soul of the departed soldier.
Many shed tears as the body was moved from the 37 Military Hospital, where it had been prepared for burial.
The father of the deceased, Awudu Imoro, said Private Sherrif had his primary and junior high school education at Ashaiman and attended senior high school at Akwamuman SHS, completing in 2017.
Explaining the circumstances leading to Sherrif’s death, Mr Imoro said in early January this year, Sherrif phoned his mother to inform the family that he was going to be in Accra in the first week of February for a course.
Sherrif, according to the father, told them that when he arrived in Accra, he would get the opportunity to visit the family on Fridays, and so in the past three weeks Sherrif had been going home every Friday until his demise.
Residents demand justice
Meanwhile, residents of Ashaiman are demanding justice following the military raid on the community on March 7, 2022
Wearing red armbands, the residents said the molestation visited on some of them was without sound reason.
Some soldiers invaded some suburbs of Ashaiman on March 7, 2023 after their colleague had been killed in the area on Saturday, March 4, 2023.
In a bid to find the perpetrators of the murder, the soldiers took over the streets of Ashaiman to brutalise some residents.
Addressing a press conference yesterday under the banner: “Ashaiman Lives Matter”, opinion leaders of the community, led by the Regent of Ashaiman, Nii Annang Adjor, condemned the attack on the young soldier and the reprisal attacks by the soldiers.
The opinion leaders who addressed the media included two former Members of Parliament (MPs) for Ashaiman, Franklin Winfred K. Aheto and Alfred Agbesi; the current MP, Ernest Norgbey; a private legal practitioner, Emmanuel Kumadey; the NPP Ashaiman Constituency Chairman, Alexander Amanor, and the NDC Constituency Vice-Chairman, Francis Damasi.
While condemning the killing of the soldier and commiserating with his family, the leaders called on the police to speed up their investigations and bring the perpetrators to book.
In addition, they called on the President to immediately set up a committee to investigate the action of the soldiers and punish the culprits.
The group also called on the President, as the Commander-in-Chief of the GAF, to order the immediate release of all residents of Ashaiman who were still illegally in the custody of the soldiers.
Furthermore, they wanted the President to direct the Ministry of Defence to pay for all damaged properties, as well as compensate innocent victims brutalised during the swoop.
Besides, the community leaders urged the municipal assembly to provide street lights in all communities, since darkness was a contributory factor for the murder of the soldier because the incident happened at a dark place.
The convenors of the press conference called on the media, civil society, professional bodies such as the Ghana Bar Association, religious bodies, among others, to join the residents of Ashaiman in condemning the violence and criminal acts by the soldiers.
“Consistently and persistently, the GAF have taken Ashaiman as their training ground for unleashing violence on innocent citizens with impunity. We are saying it loud and clear that we have suffered enough, and enough is enough,” Mr Kumadey told the media.
Rule of law
The Regent of Ashaiman condemned the killing of the soldier and the retaliation meted out by the soldiers on the residents.
“If we should keep quiet over this, we don’t know who will be the next victim. Ghana is a democratic country and human rights and the rule of law must be preserved at all times,” he stated.
For his part, Mr Norgbey advised residents not to take the law into their own hands but trust their leaders in the community to fight for justice on their behalf.