Col E Aggrey-Quashie
The Ghana Armed Forces (GAF) has denied that its personnel were the ones captured in some videos circulating on social media.
The videos purportedly show army officers ‘abusing’ some individuals who ‘refused’ to comply with the President’s directive on the two weeks partial lockdown of some parts of Ghana.
In a press statement issued by its Director of Public Relations, Col E Aggrey-Quashie, GAF said it has observed a recent trend of “recycling of past video clips, (some of which did not originate in Ghana); re-packaging them as current episodes, and attributing them to the GAF.”
“It would be recalled that on Saturday 28th March 2020, TV3 News carried a news item purportedly showing the arrival of troops in Kumasi to ensure residents conform to the partial lockdown directives by the President,” it noted.
It indicated that “the purported recording featured a voice which issued threats to residents of the Ashanti Region of intended brutalities by the Military.”
This reportage, it said, “after our investigation, was found to be a doctored video.”
“The said troops were in fact, part of a disinfection exercise which took place recently in Accra but had no bearing to the restrictions programme currently underway.”
It explained that “the threatening voice was found to be a deliberate fabrication.”
“TV3 News has since retracted and apologized to the GAF.”
“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,” it recounted.
Checks reveal that most of these videos are old incidents that are unrelated to the ongoing exercise, according to the statement.
Some of the videos show incidents which occurred in neighboring francophone countries, whilst others are incidents which occurred several months ago, unrelated to the current exercise.
Moreover, the people in some of these videos in circulation are not members of the Police and Military, it said.
“It is our opinion that the deliberate circulation of unrelated and doctored social media material is orchestrated by certain individuals with the objective of casting the security agencies in the ongoing operation in a bad light.”
The statement added that “it is unfortunate that at a time when the will of the Nation is united to confront a real threat, certain groups of people continue with the deliberate distribution of misinformation materials on social media.”
By Melvin Tarlue