A security analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning, has described as unfortunate suggestions by First Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Joseph Osei-Owusu for a shoot-to-kill approach in dealing with illegal miners in the country.
According to him, the comment puts Ghana in bad light in terms of respect for human rights.
Joseph Osei Owusu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bekwai Constituency, suggested the joint military and police anti-galamsey task force fighting illegal mining in various parts of the country adopts a shoot-to-kill approach in dealing with illegal miners destroying the country’s water resources.
While making a contribution on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday, Osei-Owusu said he would have issued a directive to that effect.
But some have condemned him for the comment and described it as reprehensive.
Meanwhile, the Majority leader, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu, has also backed the suggestion saying that the country has treated illegal miners with kid gloves for far too long.
Given the precarious state of Ghana’s natural resources like vegetation and water bodies, Mr. Mensah-Bonsu said that taking lives to protect the environment is justified by the constitution.
Backing his claim with Article 13 of the Constitution which says “no person shall be deprived of his life intentionally except in the exercise of the execution of a sentence of a court in respect of a criminal offence under the laws of Ghana of which he has been convicted,” the caucus leader and Minister for Parliamentary Affairs said, “I do not think that the constitution, in so far as a matter is criminal, frowns upon the use of force to the extent that it may even deprive some other people of their lives. The constitution does not talk about that at all… Mr. Speaker, if we agree that what was going on was criminal, the constitution doesn’t forbid any person trying to prevent the commission of that crime from pursuing that person and asserting force which may even result in death.”