5th March, 2018
For Immediate Release
PRESS RELEASE: HOW DOES AN ILLEGALITY SOLVE AN ILLEGAL ISSUE?
The attention of NORSAAC has been drawn to inhumane treatment meted out to tipper truck operators in the Dalun sand-winning pit in the Northern Region. It has been revealed that some number of tipper trucks and an excavator were burnt at the Dalun sand winning site by a contingent of the 6th Battalion following the refusal of the tipper truck operators to vacate the site. Further information showed that the directive that resulted in the burning was given by the Northern Regional Security Council (RECSEC).
We understand that the Directive of RECSEC followed previous directives for the tipper truck operators to vacate the site based on the report of the management of the Ghana Water Company on the possibility of water stress if the sand winning activities continue at the Dalun site. NORSAAC as a human rights advocacy organization commends RECSEC on their quest to ensure sustainable access to potable water for the people of Tamale as a basic human rights issue, we equally condemn the series of rights abuse meted out to the tipper truck operators in delivering the good intention.
• The Directive was issued and executed with complete disregard for the human rights of the truck operators and therefore a slap on the 1992 constitution of Ghana. The excessive force of the military has created fear and panic in the citizens of the area.
• The action of burning the trucks brings to bear fundamental breaches of the 1992 constitution which provides procedures in lawfully dealing with recalcitrant citizens. Why did RECSEC not pursue possible options of securing a court order to restrict the area from the truck operators? How about a legal seizure of the vehicles? Or even engagements with truck operators on alternative sand winning sites?
We draw the attention of the leadership of the state to the abuse of the fundamental human rights of the tipper truck operators. The action of the military men has potentials to worsen the high levels of poverty within the Northern Region and can also trigger violence response from the citizenry. This action, will also lower the human rights standards of Ghana in the international arena exposing the country’s inability to use its own established legal procedures and system to address issues.
Whiles we urge the tipper truck operators to avoid any actions that may be unlawful, we advise them to seek legal redress to the inhumane act suffered from the authorities.
We equally demand that;
1. A full scale investigation into the burning of the trucks be undertaken with a full measure of compensation to the tipper truck operators
2. In similar situations in the future, approaches to be undertaken must fall within the rule of laws of Ghana and place maximum respect on the fundamental human rights of people.
NORSAAC is an empowerment for change organization empowering women and young people. It is committed to human rights based approach to development and always keeps its consistent demand for respect, protection and fulfillment of rights of all citizens. Established in 2002 as a gender and human rights advocacy organization, it remains committed to advancing the course of women and young people. The organization will continue to provide alternatives to governments as a way of growing our democracy and also deepening the local governance in the country.
Signed: Abukari Kawusada
Gender and Governance Manager
For more information call;
Kawusada Abubakari, Gender and Governance Manager – 0501302998
Issah Aminu Danaa, M&E and resource Mobilisation Manager – 0501302993