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A Teary-Eyed and Traumatized Nation Says Goodbye to Hero Captain Maxwell Mahama


With heavy hearts and tear-filled eyes, a traumatized nation last week laid to rest army hero Captain Maxwell Mahama.

It was a solemn and moving ceremony attended by Ghanaians from all walks of life and political persuasions who had come to pay their last respects to a young man cruelly and prematurely sent to his death.

The pain and brutality of Captain Mahama’s murder crippled the country and enraged Ghanaians who called for the scalps of his killers.

Captain Mahama had reportedly been mistaken for an armed robber by a band of marauding villagers in Denkyira Obuasi and pummeled to death, his body set ablaze.

Now that we have said our tearful goodbyes and the wheels of justice have started turning, albeit slowly, but nonetheless geared towards exacting punishment, it is time for the nation to embark on a long, deep period of introspection.

Sadly, Captain Mahama’s death presents us with an opportunity to reflect on what, in the last three decades, has gone wrong with our society.

Here is a chance for us to have a huge attitudinal change, and indeed to take certain actions that will in future curtail tragedies such as that which befell Captain Mahama.

The earlier we set about overhauling our behavior and readjusting our depraved attitude towards one another the better; the gruesome murder of Captain Mahama had gone global.The international media — the BBC particularly reported extensively on it and our once pristine image as a nation of level-headed individuals took a severe beating.

In the eyes of the international community, we have become a nation of lawbreakers and nonconformists. That a group of individuals in a nation not embroiled in civil strife would pounce on a member of the security agencies and savagely beat him to death was incomprehensible to the outside world.

While I don’t subscribe to the view that our society is distinctly flawed — yes, of course, like societies across the world we have our share of deranged, blood thirsty scoundrels —it is crucial to point out that we have over the years abandoned our moral responsibilities towards one another.

These days we tend to view each other with a lot of suspicion instead of trust, and we are quick to mete out instant justice to our fellow citizens falsely accused of crimes we can’t prove.

Captain Mahama’s gruesome murder is replicated around the country almost on a daily basis. From rural backwaters to thriving urban areas, innocent citizens meet their untimely deaths at the hands of lynch mobs.

And the sad thing is that until the suspects in Mahama’s killing were immediately rounded up because of the national attention it had garnered, lynch mobs in other parts of the country continued to walk free from their grisly actions.

The bereaved family of Captain Mahama, the nation and the world are anxiously waiting to see the sort of action the government will take to ensure that his death was not in vain.

No one expects the government to rush the trial of the suspects; it will not be fair and would portray authorities as being too eager to please the army.

Instead, the government should proceed slowly and methodically, bolstering its case against the suspects with all the evidence it can gather.  Captain Mahama’s family deserves justice. It has suffered enough.


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