Islamic SHS shooting: Police went overboard; did a poor job – Peter Toobu


Peter Lanchene Toobu, former Executive Secretary to a one-time Inspector General of police, says the police handling of the recent disturbances at the Islamic Senior High School (SHS) was appalling.

He maintains that personnel deployed to control the students’ demonstration did not exhibit professionalism in controlling the rampaging crowd.

“I was a bit surprised when I watched the video. Students are demonstrating and if the police intel was working right, they could have activated a key to calm the students down. Maybe the KMA boss should have spoken to the students and assured them that the issues will be fixed, then the police will go back. But I hear some of the personnel were even chasing the students, that I cannot get”, he said on Citi TV‘s Face to Face program on Tuesday.

Students of the Islamic Senior High School, Abrepo, Kumasi, took to the streets on Monday and blocked sections of the road to demonstrate against frequent motor traffic accidents in front of their school.

Some were injured following the disturbances and were rushed to the hospital for treatment.

The police have already admitted that the way its officers handled the situation was poor and fell short of standard operating procedures on crowd control.

The police administration has already removed its Deputy Ashanti Regional Commander, DCOP Kwasi Akomeah Apraku, and has also interdicted two other senior officers over the incident.

The Ministry of Education says calm has returned to the school, with Parliament handing down a one-week ultimatum to the Defence and Interior Committee to embark on a fact-finding mission to Kumasi over the incidence of alleged police brutality.

But Peter Lanchene Toobu, who is also the Member of Parliament for Wa West, is of the view that the police could have dispersed the chaotic crowd more appropriately.

“The students were not armed. What was the level of resistance? The level of resistance was not lethal, so the response must be soft. In that response, they could have used level one force, which was just showing presence. There was no need for the police to arrive and cause fear and panic.”

“These students were carrying stones, and that cannot kill if the officers were carrying their shields well. If they knew what situation they were coming to handle, I don’t think they would have created this mess. Were they trying to arrest any hard criminal before discharging a firearm? If that is not the case, there are other methods to deal with a riotous mob that is pelting stones”, he suggested.