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Ghana Army Demonstrates Restraint In The Face of Extreme Provocation


A solemn and melancholy cloud still hangs over our nation; Ghana is in deep mourning over last week’s brutal and senseless murder of Captain Mawell Mahama in Denkyira Obuasi by a group of vicious thugs.

The wounds opened by Captain Mahama’s murder are still fresh and the feelings raw. Only time will tell if the country will be properly healed enough to move forward.

Since the tragedy, the air has been thick with calls for revenge for the murdered young captain; but the Ghana Army has resisted all temptations to go down this narrow, ugly path.

Expectations were rife that the army, would immediately without even batting an eye, seek to severely punish those who had caused it such pain. But those expectations were misplaced.

The army refused to take the bait. Instead, in the face of extreme provocation, it has demonstrated professionalism, restraint and remarkable patience.

Here is one admirable point; the army has gone out of its way to uphold and respect the human rights of those who gruesomely took the life of one of their own.

Our soldiers have come a long way from those days when their relations with the Ghanaian public were fraught with suspicion, fear and hatred.

No longer do our soldiers march into a neighborhood and indiscriminately violate the rights of residents. For this, the Ghana army deserves our unwavering support and appreciation.

The legal process continues to unwind with the arrest of the suspects — and the arrests that had my juices flowing were those of the assembly man, the de facto leader of the murderous group, and the woman who allegedly set the captain’s body ablaze. I am not prejudging here, but these two suspects deserve all that is coming their way.

One lingering question on the minds of Ghanaians is this: what would possess a group of individuals to commit such a despicable act, to visit such barbarity and savagery on another human?

A bunch of reasons have been advanced to explain away the abhorrent behavior of the suspects. But no amount of psycho-analysis could precisely reveal why they did what they did. They had dark ulterior motives, that is for sure.

It is my conviction that there is something fundamentally wrong with a society that has no qualms about engaging in such savagery.

Has our culture become so debased that we have little regard for human life? Or is the current spate of public lynching a generational thing? I think so.

Lynching was never part of our cultural DNA as it is today. Things have profoundly changed for the worse in the last thirty or so years.

I remember those days when all Ghanaians did when they caught a citizen breaking the law —-usually the crime was stealing—was to administer a few blows and drag him screaming and begging to the police station.

Never did they beat the bad guys senseless and ultimately set their limp bodies on fire. It just didn’t happen. No one would have countenanced or allowed it.

These days, it is a whole different story—-and it reflects poorly on Ghanaians that we would essentially throw our laws to the dogs and behave with gross impunity.

But the blame as I have always pointed out lies entirely on the shoulders of our political leaders who have over the years looked the other way as Ghanaians broke the law at will. Lawlessness has slowly crept into our system, and that is the grim reality of our time.

The chief law enforcement officer in the country, President Akuffo Addo’s words don’t carry weight any longer, especially not with the political vigilante groups attached at the hip to his party.

If he does not gear up and tackle this frightening problem of public lynching with bold initiatives and laws, his administration will forever be defined as a one that tacitly encouraged lawlessness in the country.


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