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Lawlessness and violence rapidly becoming part of the national DNA


I am not the only one who thinks Ghana, our beautiful and beloved country, is slowly, but surely slipping into uncontrollable violence; it is a commonly held view among millions of Ghanaians. Far from being an alarmist, I am just raising awareness of the danger that lurks.

Like many of my compatriots,  I am worried sick that lawlessness and the accompanying violence, are fast becoming part of the national DNA. We are endlessly worried that if authorities, those entrusted with protecting and keeping us safe from harm, don’t put in place mechanisms that will deal effectively and permanently with the out of control and reckless behavior of the criminal elements amongst us, the nation’s eventual descent into anarchy and chaos is all but guaranteed.

Doomsday may not be immediate, but the foundation for a violent and protracted implosion is being laid by a combination of violents acts, a weak judicial system and gross indifference by government.

My lamentation emanates from this troubling dynamic; it has become fashionable, almost a badge of honor in the criminal world to attack members of our traditional law enforcement agencies, the police and army.

It saddens me that the men and women of the police service and armed forces who volunteered and took an oath to protect their fellow citizens from internal and external enemies are viewed with widespread suspicion, their work is not appreciated, they are spat on and they are grossly disrespected.

Once upon a time, no one would dare raise their finger at any member of the security forces and get away with it. But times, as the saying goes, are changing. Now, you can struck a service member, even murder a service member and there is a collective yawn. We saw that in the brutal, outrageous and sadistic attack on young army officer, Capt. Mahama almost two years ago.

His grotesque death is still fresh in the national conscience. Captain Mahama’s ordeal at the hands of a group of psychotic villagers, is one of many that our gallant men and women in uniform have suffered in the last couple of years. And, the frightening part is that there seem to be no end in sight to this madness. Attacks on our service personnel are mounting with increasing alarm.

In our neck of the woods, in our backyard, in Tamale, a youth group recently threatened to dispatch our police officers to eternity if the officers again made efforts to save people accused of witchcraft from being lynched. And, these young men walked away scotfree without as much as a reprimand from the political authorities.

The Ghanaian society has reached this ugly crossroads for two main reasons; our moral depravity and the abundance of guns. We now live in a society that places less premium on human life. We see the taking of another human life as part of societal setup, and not something that should be avoided at all cost.

Our nation is literally awash in deadly weapons which goes to tell you how much the government enforces the law against gun possession. Everybody has a gun these days; guns indeed, have become the new symbols of masculinity, machoism and pride.

Consider this: If a gun is not part of your worldly possessions, you are branded a punk, a girlie man, to borrow the words of Arnold Schwennager, the action movie hero.  Oh yes, Ghana has become the wild wild west of the West African region.

In the midst of this depraved ugliness, I doff my hat to our service men and women for exercising utmost restraint in the face of extreme provocation and putting their lives on the line everyday to serve a greater good. Our support for them and everything they do, should be unconditional.


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