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"Once a while the army must flex its muscles" – Security Expert defends Ashaiman swoop

A Former Military man and Security Expert, Dr. Ishmael Norman has defended the conduct of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) in the wake of the swoop in Ashaiman that led to brutalities being meted out to some citizens.


The March 7 swoop as the GAF calls it was to fish for the killers of a young soldier, Trooper Sherrif Imoro, the army said in a statement dispelling claims that the swoop was to avenge the death.


In an interview on Metro TV (March 9) Dr. Norman said the army could have gone beyond the threshold that they meted out during the swoop given the gravity of the reason they undertook the mission.


“The Ghana Armed Forces conducted itself very well given the circumstances; things could have gotten out of control. I think a lot of the youth in Ghana sometimes do not respect men and women in uniform.“


"I think once in a while, the Ghana Army has the right to flex its muscle and beat up a few people for them to know that the Ghana army is not there for decoration and that if you mess with it, it will mess with you,” he stated.


He advanced that in the particular instance, “the perpetrators is not the army, so, what happened was that they didn’t go far enough, they should have gone a little bit further and thrash out more people.”


He described the Army as the “last bastion of security and must at all cost be respected.”


On the subject of innocent people being caught in the swoop, he responded: “There is always collateral damage and citizens of Ghana must be more circumspect, take precaution and self-control when dealing with all members of the security agencies,” he stressed.


The March 7 military swoop

Dozens of military officers stormed Ashaiman in the operation that saw some soldiers entering the town in trucks, with an armoured car plus a helicopter hovering over the town.


The exercise is said to be in response to the gruesome murder of a young soldier, Trooper Sherrif Imoro, by some unidentified persons on Saturday, March 4, 2023.


Videos of the invasion shared across social media show various forms of assault being meted on residents by the rampaging officers who subjected some of the residents to severe beatings.


In a statement released in the early hours of March 8, the Ghana Armed Forces admitted authorizing the swoop which led to the arrest of 184 persons, as well as the seizure of suspected illegal drugs.


In the said statement, they also acknowledged excesses may have resulted in the swoop but failed to apologize for or commit to conduct a probe on same.


An initial 150 suspects were released on March 8 whiles Barker-Vormawor reported on March 9 that the remaining 34 have also been freed without charge.


Credit: GhanaWeb

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