A former military officer Captain Ebenezer Budu Koomson (rtd) has said that security officials had prior intelligence about the Tafo clashes before the skirmishes broke out.
Mr Koomson condemned the failure of security officials in the Ashanti Region to avert the violent clashes, which resulted in one death.
“What I have a problem with is that we are getting information that the security agencies actually got wind of the brewing tensions or the possibility of an explosive activity as far back as the previous weekend,” he revealed on Citi FM’s ‘The Big Issue’ programme on Saturday, February 13, 2016.
Apart from one person dying, several people got injured on Wednesday February 10 when Muslim youth clashes with locals in the area. The conflict started after some young men, on the orders of the Tafo chief, pulled down a fence erected by the Muslims to hedge the cemetery from encroachment.
Several cars were vandalised, while a bank, a mosque, and six churches were set ablaze amidst riots and gunfire. Military and police officers had to be deployed to the area to maintain peace. A dusk-to-dawn curfew was also imposed to forestall reprisal attacks and an escalation of the violence with forty people arrested.
Capt Budu Koomson told host Umaru Sanda Amadu that security officials in the country must be proactive to deal with issues before any damages occur when they get prior information about any incident.
“They had the signals and that is why I said that they should be preemptive and proactive. There are people who are instigators or kingpins in this thing and if the security agencies picked the signals what did they do? We like reacting too much,” he lamented.
“Our energies and capacities are so often directed to reaction and that bothers me because I know the capacities of the system [to deal with the problem]. I don’t know whether they don’t have the political or social space to work,” he noted.
According to him, security officials could have moved swiftly to apprehend the brains behind the case, if the proper structures had been put in place.
“If the systems had been there, I daresay that they might even have known the ring leaders and instigators of these things. If you are really serious you can immobilise them, so, that this thing won’t happen,” he added.
Meanwhile the Chief Imam, Sheikh Usman Nuhu Sharabutu, has visited the place to help bring peace.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Asawase Alhaji Mohammed Mubarak Muntaka has also pleaded with the police to screen and release the forty people who were picked up in a swoop as discussions are held to bring calm to the area.
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