Mr. Speaker, I beg to quote page 7, paragraph 5 of the editorial of the Daily Graphic.
“Be that as it may, the Anlo tragedy is not one of those misfortunes that strike without notice. The signs of it happening began showing many years ago and loomed large a few days before it erupted last Thursday. It is difficult to understand why those signals, including media warnings, were not picked by the
appropriate security and intelligence agencies for counter-measures to be taken.”
Mr. Speaker, this is what is on the lips of every well-meaning Ghanaian both in the conflict zone and out of the conflict zone as to why did they wait for lives to be lost. Even more difficult to understand is the reason why the curfew was not imposed on Thursday after it was confirmed that three civilians lost their lives. It is difficult to understand; and this is the question everybody is asking.
Mr. Speaker, whilst we were at the conflict zone, a statement was issued by one of the factions that they had finished every process and immediately after that then came the Press Conference of the Minister for the Interior. And the question the people asked was whether the whole thing was being tele-guided. That is the question people are asking. It is difficult to explain.
Mr. Speaker, as I sat down here, I received information from some of my colleagues and from Klikor that the home of the Fiaga of Klikor, Togbe Addo had been attacked. Papers were removed from his house, doors were broken whilst he was away in Accra. We should handle the Anlo issue carefully. I do not want to go into who is qualified to be Awoamefia or not. I do not want to go into that. It is a very complex and complicated matter and we should be very careful the way we handle that situation otherwise, it might go out of control.
I have the privilege of hailing from the three districts that constitute the Anlo Traditional Council. Part of me comes from the Akatsi District, part of me comes from Keta District and part of me comes from the Ketu District. So, if some of us
are talking we should be taken seriously. Mr. Speaker, one observation that I saw
which I want to bring to the attention of the hon. Minister so that he can find ways and means of checking it is the fact that whilst we were about to be briefed by the Deputy Regional Police Commander, Hamidu, we saw that one of the factions was heavily protected by the police. So, I asked the Deputy Regional Commander whether he did not think that it would create a perception that they were supporting one of the factions.
The response that Hamidu gave me in the presence of my hon. Colleague Members of Parliament and the media was that they did not know where those policemen were from and were not under his control. So in a sense, command and control were completely lost.
This is because the Deputy Regional Police Commander who was on the ground that Friday morning, in charge of security, did not know where those policemen protecting one of the factions came from. It is quite alarming. It means that we had some policemen who were not under the operational Commander that morning.
But reading through the Regional Police Commander's letter which was produced verbatim in The Chronicle, it was clear that those policemen were from Accra. I have no problem with anybody being protected at all by the police. Anybody who feels that his life is threatened ought to be protected. So if they are offering protection, in the case where there is conflict, they should make sure that they give protection to all the sides, and therefore, the perception of bias will not be levelled against any of them.
My problem is that once the section of the police under the Regional Police Command was busy arresting one of the
factions, other policemen were protecting another faction. And that is the picture; and the police must take steps to avoid the kind of perception in the minds of the people.
Mr. Speaker, one important point I would want to raise again, flowing from the hon. Minister's submission this morning is the fact that notice was given to them for cultural festival. Indeed, the hon. Minister was right because this was confirmed to us by the Regional Police Commander.
So, when somebody gives notice to celebrate a custom or festival and uses that to celebrate a particular special event or uses that notice to celebrate another event and as a result there are loss of lives, who is to be held responsible for the loss of those lives? Is the police looking for those who misled the police? Are they allowing them to go scot-free? And if they are allowing them to go scot-free, why are they allowing them to go scot-free?
Mr. Speaker, to begin with, the letter
from the Regional Police Commander does not offer him the kind of neutrality of a police officer. He is a gentleman. I have had the occasion to speak to him on the telephone a few months ago and I found him to be a perfect gentleman.
But Mr. Speaker, that letter has betrayed him to be neutral in this conflict and I think that it would be in his own interest to be transferred out of the region whilst another person is sent there. We need level-headed people in the region. He should be transferred to another place while somebody who will co-operate with both factions is transferred there. This is because as at now, the perception is that reading that letter and his voice on Radio Gold, this morning, it is not in his interest to continue to remain in the region.
Credible information that we are gathering is that he used his private car to send the gentleman who died in the