The Chief of Defence Staff, Lt Gen Obed Boamah Akwa has categorically stated that Capt. Maxwell Adam Mahama and the military detachment at Upper Denkyira West in the Central Region were not there to protect illegal miners. Capt. Mahama who was with the 5th Infantry of the Ghana Armed Forces and the detachment commander of troops on operational duties in the area was cruelly murdered by residents of Denkyira-Obuasi who suspected him to be an armed robber when they found him jogging with a pistol at about 8:30 am on Monday. There has been a swelling nationwide sympathy for the deceased soldier, but the District Chief Executive (DCE) for the Upper Denkyira West, Daniel Appianing appears to justify what many have condemned as a “dastardly” act. He had claimed that as the head of the district security council (DISEC), he was not aware of the presence of the soldiers in his area, maintaining that the soldiers were there to rather protect activities of illegal miners (galamsey). But the Chief of Defence Staff has counted that assertion, insisting the soldiers were officially assigned to the area. He made the clarification when the Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia together with some army chiefs visited the family of the late Captain Mahama at the Arakan officers mess at Burma Camp in Accra. “I want to disabuse the minds of the public that they [soldiers] were there protecting illegal mining,” Lt Gen Obed Boamah Akwa pointed out. He emphasised that their presence in the area was “sanctioned” by the military high command with the knowledge of the defence ministry. Lt Gen Akwa said an investigative team including the Chief of the Army Staff, General Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Southern Command were dispatched to the crime scene yesterday and have presented their report which “we will look very careful and help in our implementation”. level of restraint He was thankful to the officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces for the “level of restraint they have exhibited in the face of provocation”. This he attributed to the fact that the Ghana Armed Forces is carving a “new image” for itself. “We don’t have men who will take reprisal action in the face of provocation,” he noted, appealing to soldiers working in the area where the murder happened to “live amicably” with the civilian and allow the law to take its course. The Chief of Defence Staff said he will hold all ranks durbar at Burma Camp to reiterate the need to live in peace with civilians as well as convey the government’s assurance to them. Similar durbar, he said, would be held in Takoradi and all garrisons.