General News of Wed, 16 May 201892
Political heads damn lawless police, military who turned Tamale into battle field
Political heads have roundly condemned a nasty clash in Tamale between lawless police and military personnel in Tamale, Wednesday.
Northern Region Minister Salifu Saeed described the incident as shameful and an indictment on the Regional Commanders who appear to have lost control over their men.
He has asked the heads of Interior and Defence Ministries to transfer the regional commanders if they can no longer control their men on the ground.
The Deputy Defence Minister Derek Oduro is even more scandalized. He told Joy News’ Evans Mensah the incident was “ugly” and “uncalled for.”
Their comments come shortly after the men who are paid to maintain law and order in the country and Tamale decided to break the law with impunity.
On a day that marked the beginning of Ramadan with security and religious heads preaching peace in Tamale, dozens of prowling security personnel from the police and military, turned the Tamale metropolis into a battlefield, firing, whipping and pummeling each other in the full glare of civilians.
The military men did not understand why one of their men will be arrested by the police and be interrogated over an alleged act of assault.
The arrested officer jumped out of counter at the police station, went into the military barracks and within minutes, an army of military men with weapons, guns, whips were back into town with revenge on their minds.
The military men were said to have driven in military patrol vehicles whose numbers had been covered to avoid being traced.
There was “indiscriminate firing” from both sides in the middle of the streets, the Regional Minister confirmed.
It was not only an exchange of gunfire. They traded blows, whips and left scores injured with the police worst affected.
A police officer suffered severe head injuries with blue uniform draped in blood.
The incident left the policemen angry with threats of reprisals. A number of them who had cocked their guns at the barracks and were threatening to retaliate could hide their anger when they spoke with Joy News’ Tamale correspondent Martina Amidu.
The incident which was the second in two months almost dashed any hope for a better relationship between the two security groups.
Last month, the two groups traded yet another free for all fight in Tamale with the police personnel said to have suffered casualties.
Security expert, Adam Bonaa has described the attack as “needless.”
He said the military has no right to attack homeland security especially when they are doing their job.
“The military had no right to attack; it’s a shame on us…” he said.
He blamed the lawlessness especially on the part of the military on political heads some of whom he said have taken the military men from the barracks onto the streets.
Adams Bonaa said the military must always remain in the barracks, except when a state of emergency is declared.