For a long time, Tamale has been shielded from the senseless violence that is increasingly pervasive in the country. Sure, the city has had its share of armed banditry and assorted violence, but these have been few and far in between.
I can therefore say on authority that Tamale, in comparison with other urban centers in Ghana, has been relatively safe. The city’s police force has managed against all odds to effectively keep the bad guys in check.
But the bad guys aren’t throwing in the towel and walking away; they are instead flexing their muscles and in the process, terrorizing innocent citizens and our hardworking police officers.
Indeed, they are brazenly daring anyone to take them on, to come get them. And this bravado, sadly, was on full display early this week when a band of armed robbers shot and killed Police Officer Agatha Nana Nabin.
This single act of violence was as shocking as it was hugely uncalled for. It was a complete violation of the social contract with our police officers. Yes, there is contract between society and uniformed police officers. It is largely unwritten, but nonetheless observed.
Police officers are obligated by law --- they take an oath ---- to protect society from violence and shady characters. Society in return is required to pay its taxes to help government meet the needs of police officers.
So as it stand police officers and society have to work together to realize the ultimate goal of making life pleasant and livable. An absence of cooperation, however, could spell trouble for both.
The killing of Officer Agartha was cowardly and a gigantic and woeful failure on the part of society. It was, to put it more bluntly, a betrayal of unimaginable proportions.
You don’t just shoot at a police officer. It is just not done. If you do, it is a breach of the contract and efforts will be expended to get you, no matter where you go to hide or how long it takes to fish you out of that hideout.
So, for those who perpetuated that dastardly and ugly crime against the police officer, chew on this: you are toast, you are tagged and marked for arrest and eventual prosecution. Authorities will leave no stone unturned until they slap those tight handcuffs on you, and frog-march you out of your hiding places to the cheers of Tamale residents.
You are a stain on the otherwise squeaky-clean character of Tamale. You have brought shame on us and that is unforgivable.
It is an odd thing to say, but the shooting is a wake-up call for authorities to gear up and arm our police officers with modern sophisticated weapons and other means to fight criminals who are intent on destabilizing our country.
My heart bleeds for the fallen police officer, her family and her fellow police officers.Her loss is immeasurable; the pain raw and deep. In this sad moment of mourning, the city of Tamale stands solidly behind our police officers.
The city is grateful for Officer Agatha’s service and will cherish her memory forever.