Parliament fights for compensation for Ashaiman victims
Following injuries suffered as a result of brutalities from the military, the Committee on Defence and Interior of Parliament has assured victims of Ashaiman that there will be some sort of compensation for them.
Speaking to residents yesterday when the Committee, together with Minister for Defense, Mr Dominic Nitiwul and the MP for the area, Mr Ernest Norgbey paid a visit to the community, Chairman of the Committee, Mr Kennedy Ohene Agyapong said they would not make phantom promises but would ensure that the recommendations that will be made to the government will put smiles on the faces of the victims.
“…We will go through the document that has been given to us, we will come out with recommendations. The onus is not on us to say that you should be compensated, but when we go through the document we will make recommendations to government.
“I will not stand before you and say you should be given some compensation, but what I want to assure you is that definitely our recommendations will make you smile. That is the assurance I want to give you,” Mr Ohene Agyapong said.
The Assin Central Legislator noted yesterday that the military indeed went overboard with their actions but was quick to add that the family of the slain soldier are also in pain, so he would not want to point fingers or blame any of the parties involved in the incident.
He, however, sympathised with the residents and pleaded with them not to take the law into their own hands but allow the law to work.
“I didn’t want to say anything but I am tempted to say something about the military. I think they went overboard; they went overboard but I will not condemn everything the military did, because the deceased’s family are also mourning their death.
“I cannot stand before you and point fingers at anybody. If I do that, I am not going to be a good leader, I will inflame passion.”
The Ranking Member of the Committee, Mr James Agalga, who also sympathised with the residents, said the committee will evaluate the evidence and make some recommendations.
He was hopeful that the executive branch of government will work hand in hand with them to ensure that justice is done to ensure that the victims are catered for.
He called for calm and asked the people of Ashaiman to have confidence in state institutions.
He trumpeted that both parties need each other so there is the need to ensure peaceful co-existence.
The Minister for Defense, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, on his part was worried about the clash between the parties.
According to him, this is not the first time residents of Ashaiman have had issues with the military and indicated there is a fundamental problem that needs to be resolves.
Mr Nitiwul said it was necessary for the two parties to resolve their differences and they must learn to live together.
The Minister noted yesterday that contrary to what is happening in Ghana, the military’s best friends are the communities where they stay and that criminals stay away from such communities because of the presence of the military.
“And for the military to have issues with the people of Ashaiman or anyother person, we will look into it to ensure that things are dealt with properly”.
Mr Nitiwul also pointed out that the people of Ashaiman can benefit from the presence of the military in their community in the form of recruitment, protection and good roads and friendship and hence, called on them to find a way to resolve their differences.
“All of us here should find a way of protecting each other. It does not matter whether you are a soldier, police or civilian, we should find a way of protecting each other,” he said.
He also called on the chairman of the Committee to come up with recommendations to ensure that the two parties can find a way of living together.
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