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Okyehene’s anti-galamsey taskforce can become a terrorist group - James Agalga warns

Okyenhene Amoatia Ofori Panin 2 The Okyehene, Amoatia Ofori Panin II

Tue, 4 Oct 2022 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

The Ranking Member on the Defense and Interior Committee of Parliament, James Agalga, is worried over the establishment of an anti-galamsey taskforce set up by Osagyefo Amoatia Ofori Panin II, the overlord of the Akyem Abuakwa State.

The Bulsa North legislator argued that no civil group, whether associated with a traditional authority or not, should be allowed to wield guns.

He further explained that the seemingly organized anti-galamsey group could threaten the county’s stability.

It would be recalled that the Okyeman Environmental Taskforce assisted the Kibi Divisional Police in a special galamsey operation at Asaman Tamfoe on Thursday, September 29, 2022, that turned violent.

Reacting to the operation, the Ranking Member described the actions of the task force as a breach of the law.

“What happened was very unfortunate. You find people who are supposed to belong to a taskforce - it doesn’t matter whose taskforce they were, wielding fire arms and engaging in gun fights openly in the street of the town is not the best. It doesn’t also matter that the same taskforce may have been cooperating with the police.

“What we saw was a breach of the vigilantism and offences act that parliament passed not too long ago. And you know what is even frightening is the fact that they were organized. There’s the possibility that once they are organized and if care is not taken, they can easily metamorphose into a very terror organization and that is why it is not proper for a civil group, whether they are a taskforce associated with a traditional group or not, to openly wield firearms and use them in a gun fight,” he told the morning show host of Kumasi-based Oyerepa TV, Kwesi Parker-Wilson, and monitored by GhanaWeb.

The MP further explained that the taskforce could rather play other significant roles in situations like these, rather than be seen wielding firearms that could endanger lives.

“They could act as informants to the police and allow the police to carry out the operations and flush out whoever was perceived to be engaged in galamsey or landgaurdism,” he added.

However, James Agalga, however, called on the Inspector General of Police, COP Dr. George Akufo Dampare, to order the arrest and prosecution of members of the task force.

He said this would establish whether the guns used by the men are licensed or not.

“Those who engaged in the open gunfight need to be arrested and investigated so that it will be established whether the guns they used are licensed or registered with the police. If you watch the video carefully, you would think that these are combatants in a war zone country.

“The imagery was very bad and should be condemned in no uncertain terms and it should never happen again. I charge the IGP to ensure that arrests are effected and the vigilantism and offences acts are applied,” he added.

EA/BOG

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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