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Gruesome murder of MP a snapshot of what Ghanaians go through on a daily basis


mp_aduThis is a first in the annals of our national history; a sitting lawmaker, a legislator viciously attacked and murdered in his own home.

The killing of Mr. JB Danquah, the NPP member of parliament of Abuakwa north last week in Accra sent shock waves around the country. Ghanaians of all political persuasions expressed shock and sadness at the gruesome murder of the lawmaker, a man who was considered to be gentle and caring.

President John Mahama, former president John Kufuour and other prominent national politicians all said they were devastated by the brutal murder of Mr. Danquah.

The callousness and depravity of the murder jolted the national psyche and left Ghanaians wondering why violence has become so pervasive in our society. Though suspects in the killing have been nabbed, no reason has yet been assigned by the police for the sad event.

However, no matter the circumstances of Mr. Danquah’s death, whether it was a politically motivated elimination of a competitor, a crime of passion or just random violence, the murder is still abhorrent and despicable and should be loudly condemned in the harshest terms.

Truth be told, the murder of the Abuakwa north lawmaker is a sad commentary on the state of affairs in Ghana in the 21st century, besides doubtlessly speaking volumes about the fast deterioration of social values in our rapidly changing society.

What is more, Mr. Danquah’s violent death is a snapshot of the brutal violence ordinary Ghanaians live with every given day, be it armed robbery, domestic violence, ethnic violence or violence generated by chieftaincy disputes.

Lets call a shovel a shovel and stop mincing words. The respect and sanctity we once held for human life have been cast aside and replaced with depraved indifference, arrogance and callousness.

Today, taking a human life in Ghana is not considered a monstrosity, viewed as a grievous sin or an unpardonable error. Instead, it is now fashionable and a badge of honor to deprive some poor soul of their precious life.

It is about time we faced the hard facts; the Ghanaian society we live in today does not frown on killings and murders anymore. Contract killings are now common place. People are deprave, and to be brutally honest, we have become insensitive to violence. Today’s Ghana is not your grandfather’s Gold Coast.

All told, given the rising level of crime in the country, the responsibility to protect all citizens, regardless of their social status rests entirely on the shoulders of government.

Government must do everything therefore within its constitutionally guaranteed mandate to provide protection to all and not just to MPs. All Ghanaians are entitled to legal protection under the law.

It is preposterous as some have suggested that MPs be given special protection just because one of their own was murdered. The one sure way to protect Ghanaians is for government to tackle crime with all the resources at its disposal.

First and foremost, it should reduce the high rates of unemployment among the youth. This is the primary cause of crime and violence in the country.When young people have jobs to go to every morning, the last thing on their minds is to commit crime and there is abundant evidence to support this claim.

But the most effective way to combat crime is to flood our cities, towns and villages with more police officers. All this entails massive recruitment of new police officers who should be adequately equipped and better paid so that they can take the fight to hardened criminals who are themselves well-armed and plenty motivated.

Let us grudgingly accept the fact that violence is now part of our existence. We must, as a matter of urgency, do everything in our power to eliminate it or bring it down to reasonable levels.

We have choices; we can either push lawmakers to pass stringent laws against any form of violence; demonstrate in the streets against crime like we have done on numerous occasions against economic hardship and other unpopular official policies; or sit on our hunches and continue to be the targets and victims of savage unprovoked attacks by opportunistic criminals.


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