Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul.
The late Captain Maxwell Mahama, leader of the platoon detailed to a mining company at Denkyira-Obuasi, was about to be promoted to a ‘Major’ after he successfully sat his examinations a few weeks ago, Defence Minister Dominic Nitiwul has revealed.
According to Mr. Nitiwul, the murdered officer was posted to the area about three weeks ago to relieve the Commander of the military personnel who were guarding a local mining company. The Platoon Commander had come to Accra to sit for an examination.
Capt Maxwell Mahama of the 5 Battalion of Infantry was lynched by some youth while he went for his early morning jogging Monday morning. He was allegedly stoned and burnt by the youth of the area who mistook him for an armed robber.
“This is a very serious matter for us in the military…To lose just one single life is a very big thing to us and to lose one soldier is something that we take very seriously,” the Minister said on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show, Tuesday, May 30.
Mr. Nitiwul said the officer in an attempt to defend his life, shot and wounded one person and is hopeful that the person if quizzed, can provide a good lead for investigators.
“What I can confirm to you is that he wounded somebody by shooting him in an attempt to defend himself,” he stressed.
Mr. Nitiwul said Maxwell’s father, a retired army officer, Twumbi Mahama is ravaged by the news of his son’s death. The Minister believes there is more to the story than meets the eye.
The late Capt. Mahama and his family
An uncle of the deceased, Prof. Fred Bagonluri said the late “Maxwell lived and breathed the Ghana Armed Forces”.
He recounted how his nephew discussed with him a few weeks ago, his plans to further his education at the post-graduate level.
“He wasn’t just a soldier, he was a scholar,” the Uncle told Kojo Yankson.
Prof. Bagonluri wondered why a group of citizens would commit such heinous crime by taking the life of another citizen who has sworn to defend the country with his life.
“A man who decides to serve his nation has to die in war not to be killed by the people he swore to defend…If he has to die this way then it challenges my citizenship,” he said.
Guarding the Mines
Meanwhile, the committee constituted to investigate claims of some security personnel involved in illegal mining, has established that no military officer is involved in providing security to illegal miners.
John Peter Amewu
Lands and Natural Resources Minister, John Peter Amewu was reportedly stopped by some military men from accessing a mining site in the Ashanti Region when he toured the area recently.
Infuriated by the action by the soldiers, Defense Minister, Dominic Nitiwul directed a probe into the claim.
According to the Defence Minister, the team established that “Not a single personnel of the GAF has been found anywhere guarding a galamsey site neither has any soldier on his own has been found guarding any galamsey site”.
He said government last year, took the decision to detail personnel from the military and police to protect properties at the mines against activities of persons engaged in illegal mining.