The Minority Caucus in Parliament has called on the government to pay compensation to the owners of the 14 tipper trucks and excavator, which were set ablaze by some personnel of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) during an operation at Afayili in the Kumbungu District in the Northern Region on Saturday, March 3, 2018.
The Minority has also resolved to take legal action to seek justice and compensation for the owners of the equipment if the government failed to heed their plea.
A five-member fact-finding team of the Minority said this on Friday, March 8, 2018, when it visited the area to ascertain the extent of damage of the equipment, and also to sympathise with the owners.
The five Members of Parliament (MPs) who made the trip were the Minority Leader and MP for Tamale South, Mr Haruna Iddrisu; the MP for Tamale Central, Mr Inusah Fuseini; the MP for Tamale North, Alhaji Alhassan Suhuyini; the MP for Kumbungu, Mr Ras Mubarak, and the MP for Binduri, Mr Robert Baba Kuganab-Lem.
Briefing the media, Mr Iddrisu said the recent burning of the tipper trucks and excavator was unlawful which undermined the legitimate rights of the people to own property and deprived them of their livelihood, for which reason they would pursue the case at the law court.
He stated that the conduct of the security personnel was unconstitutional and unacceptable, adding that the government must prepare for the necessary recoveries and compensation to alleviate the plight of the people.
"Where the excavator and tipper trucks were burnt and destroyed is very far from where the water body is, and it is, therefore, a wicked act intended to destroy the livelihood of poor workers and owners of tipper trucks, and we find no justification for the action, since it is excessive and extrajudicial,” Mr Iddrisu noted.
He expressed worry about how the destruction of the equipment could halt government projects because of the lack of sand, saying they were not acting because they were the Minority but for the interest of the victims and the entire nation.
Tipper Owners Union
The Secretary of the Tamale Tipper Trucks Owners Union, Mr Yahaya Iddrisu, called for a full-scale investigation into the matter and appealed to the Minority to help them pursue the matter to seek justice and compensation.
He said they would not take the law into their own hands and retaliate, but would resort to the law court to seek redress.
Chief of Kumbungu
The fact-finding team had early on paid a courtesy call on the Paramount Chief of Kumbungu, Naa Iddrisu Abu, whose area the security personnel carried out the operations to commiserate with him and solicit his support to seek compensation, for the owners.
Naa Abu, in his speech, described the recent destruction of the tipper trucks and excavator as an affront to his authority, saying he was not briefed on the operations of the security personnel in the area.
He added his voice to the call on the government to compensate the owners of the equipment to help alleviate their plight.