Garu-Tempane Youths Spit Venom
…Demand Release of Tortured Colleagues
Angry youths in the Garu and Tempane districts in the Upper East Region have issued an ultimatum to government to immediately release their colleagues, who were randomly arrested and tortured by the military.
The peeved youths are also demanding compensation and apology from the military, the national security, as well as a full-scale investigation into the incident that has been widely condemned.
According to the youths, in the event that these demands are not met, they will withdraw their services as teachers, nurses and a host of other government workers in the two areas.
The latest action follows the arrest of some eight persons, airlifted to the national capital by the military and handed over to the National Investigations Bureau (NIB), formerly known as the Bureau of National Investigations (BNI),for interrogation.
Sixteen of the citizens had initially been arrested and sent to the Bazua Camp, according to the Member of Parliament (MP) for Garu, Albert Alalzuuga Akuka, for screening, following which half of the number was left off the hook.
Among the arrested is a former Assembly member.
More than 30 people, mainly men, were heavily brutalized, after the National Security, in a release, claimed their men were attacked unprovoked by the residents while driving through the town in their official vehicle.
So far, no person from the security agency has been seen with injuries, except their vehicle that was shot at.
At a press conference yesterday Wednesday November 1, the agitated youths said the arrested individuals are being illegally held and are also innocent of the allegation levelled against them.
Clad in red shirts and armbands, the youth, led by spokesperson Emmanuel Issaka, said the military in the swoop seized personal effects, like phones, of innocent people who were going about their usual duties.
The Anchor gathered some of them attended the presser just to show their wounds to the cameras.
Since their arrival in Accra, Mr. Akuka said the individuals have not been seen by either their families or lawyers. The military say they are not with them, as they have handed them to the bureau.
A visit to the headquarters of the NIB yesterday by the MP and his senior colleague for Zebilla constituency, Cletus Avoka, did not yield any result, as they were not allowed to see the constituents.
According to the Garu MP, he was informed he could only see two out of the number, a situation he questioned.
After some back and forth, he was informed the arrested persons had been sent to court, but here again, the officers could not tell which court. He promised to return tomorrow hoping to get a better outcome.
He was concerned of the rights of the six persons who he says have greatly been violently saying “even armed robbers have rights to bail and their lawyers.”
Mr. Akuka described the incident as “barbaric,” and asked the security agency to show “human face” in their dealings, noting that though they are not seeking to stop the security men from doing their work, they should however do it within the law.
While condemning the whole incident, he jumped to the defence of his constituents denying the brutalities by the military, saying “Nobody was slapped.”
Speaking on Joy FM’s Top Story programme yesterday, the parliamentarian claimed the “youth are law abiding.”
The MP has already raised the issue in Parliament, drawing the attention of the House to assert its authority to end military brutalities against civilians.
The lawmaker, who was supported by both sides of the House, however did not get his request for investigation granted.
Sit-in Speaker Andrew Asiamah Amoako directed that the National Security Minister, Albert Kan-Dapaah, appear before the House next week.