Government announces GH¢1.75m compensation for seven youth of Asawase murdered by police
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Tuesday announced a GH¢1,750,000 compensation package for the families of the seven victims of last year’s Asawase shooting incident.
Speaking at the Zongo for Peace and Development Conference, an initiative of the Ministry of Inner City and Zongo Development, the President disclosed that an amount of GH¢250,000 for each of the seven families was to be paid to the dependents of the deceased.
Seven young men, two from Asawase and five from Aboabo, all suburbs of Kumasi, the Ashanti regional capital, were last year mistakenly shot and killed by the police at Manso-Nkwanta in the Amase West District of the region on suspicion of being armed robbers, sparking days of riots by residents of Asawase, who disputed the claim of the Police, insisting that the seven were political activist and not criminals.
Following the shooting incident, government instituted an investigative committee, which concluded after its findings that, there was no basis to believe the victims were armed robbers as claimed by the Police.
“Even though money cannot replace the life of a human being, it is being offered as a way of accepting the responsibility of the State in this tragic affair,” President Akufo-Addo explained.
He appealed to residents of Asawase and the families of the victims to continue to exercise restraint “as this sad, unfortunate matter is addressed within the confines of the law and due process.”
The President indicated that based on the recommendations of the committee set up to look into the matter, he had directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) to interdict the police personnel involved in the matter.
“Processes have been initiated that will result in the prosecution of any police person who is allegedly found to have acted outside the law,” he added.
President Akufo-Addo further urged the residents of Asawase to ignore those who would instigate them to resort to violence and to continue to hold the peace, as the matter was being determined.
“I assure you that justice will be served… I am determined on it,” he stressed.
Speaking on the theme of the Conference, “Building our Zongo Community through tolerance and peace”, the President noted that, good intentions and the desire for development would come to naught if citizens do not strive for peace in their communities.
“That is why Cabinet has endorsed the proposal by the Inner City and Zongo Development Ministry for the activation of ‘Zongo for Peace and Development Initiative. This Conference, the first in the series, is testament to that fact,” he added.
“I live in Nima, and I refuse to accept the “anti-peace/violent” tag associated with residents of Zongos. That is not, and cannot be true. I have lived at peace with my neighbours in Nima for decades, stretching back to the days of the early period of my youth in my father’s house.”
The President told the gathering that peace was a pre-requisite for Development, and without it, Government could not activate the processes that would lead to an improvement in the living standards of Zongo residents. .
Government, he assured, would continue to partner Zongo communities in order to bring progress and prosperity to their residents, noting that, residents of Zongo communities, in the run-up to independence and up to about a decade after independence, were the natural allies of the Danquah-Dombo-Busia political tradition.
President Akufo-Addo further assured that 2019 was going to be a good year for development in the Zongo communities.
“I urge you to give the Zongo Minister, an ardent champion of the potential of residents of Zongo communities to chart a path of progress and prosperity for themselves, the maximum co-operation and support, so that, together, we shall improve the living conditions of all our people,” he said.