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Be firm but fair – Mahama to soldiers

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The National Democratic Congress (NDC) Flagbearer, John Mahama has called on the various all soldiers and police to be “firm but fair” in the release of their duties in the protection of civil rights.

The first days of Ghana’s partial coronavirus lockdown have seen allegations of unnecessary brutality and violence by soldiers. There is also a call by Ghanaians on the government for oversight and the protection of civil rights.

On Monday, 30th March 2020, the first day of the exercise, several videos showing alleged brutalities by personnel of Operation COVID Safety on some citizens were posted on social media by certain individuals.

The Ghana Armed Forces have denied that its personnel were the ones captured in some videos circulating on social media.

The Armed Forces in a statement said checks reveal that most of these videos are old incidents that are unrelated to the ongoing exercise.

But Mahama said: “We have noted some excesses involving brutalisation of the civilian population by some service personnel and I urge the various Service Commanders to urgently brief the men to be firm but fair in the execution of the directives.”

In a Facebook post, he advised citizens to stay home.

“My advice to all my fellow citizens, whether your area is affected by the restrictions or not, is to please Stay Home as far as practicable. This will help you to avoid getting infected and also prevent you from infecting others if you have the disease. Also, let us continue to regularly wash our hands with soap and under running water.

“As we have all noticed, COVID-19 does not discriminate between the rich and the poor. Every one of us is at risk. During this period, however, the poor are suffering disproportionately from the effects of social distancing and the lockdown. We need to do more, as a people, to alleviate the suffering of this disadvantaged and vulnerable group.”

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