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The Gruesome Murder of Captain Maxwell Mahama Should Be The Final Wake-Up Call For Our Politicians


My heart sunk when I woke up early yesterday morning, flipped open my laptop and as a daily routine clicked on Ghanaweb to catch up with the news back at home, and stumbled across the horrid story of the gruesome murder of a young army officer, Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama in the backwater of Denkyira-Obuase in the central region.

The sad and tragic end of Captain Mahama who could have been my son, essentially ruined my day. I was angry and sad. Angry that, a group of our citizens would decide the fate of another citizen in an instant, and sad that a young man with a promising future has had his life snuffed out on the silliest of reasons.

Without considering the impact of their action on the family of the deceased army officer and on their own families, those residents of Denkyira Obuase responsible for the murder of Captain Mahama, in a fleeting moment of utter stupidity and ugly violence, dramatically and permanently changed their lives.

They took the laws of our country into their hands on their own accord, and will now have to face the full rigors of those same laws they brazenly violated. I shed no tear for them; they deserve whatever befalls them, subsequently.

The tragedy in Denkyira Obuase has left Ghanaians wondering what at all has gone wrong with our nation. We are supposed to be better than this. A friend called, and we discussed at length about the cultural debasement that is taking place in the Ghanaian society.

In the last thirty years or so, we have lost our moral bearings and drifted far off into a space that is both frightening and repulsive. We have become judge, jury and executioner; we have suddenly developed this tendency to subject our fellow citizens who run afoul of the law to the most extreme punishment without as much as giving them the benefit of the doubt or according law enforcement authorities the chance to discharge their duties. Our country, sad to note, has succumbed to mob rule.

It was just a matter of time before somebody high up the food chain was brutally lynched before the government took notice. The gruesome murder of the young army officer should be the final wake up call for our political leaders to demonstrate that they have a backbone.

In the immediate aftermath of the murder, president Akuffo Addo tweeted that no one will be go free. Let’s hope so. It is about time Mr. Addo showed real leadership on this and other related issues. The country expects more from him.

A national broadcast on radio and television to denounce the tragedy and to remind Ghanaians that we should be each other’s keeper would have been the right media to send out a powerful signal. Instead, he chose the wrong medium to show his disgust. For God’s sake, how many Ghanaians have twitter accounts?

Our politicians’ abject failure, in the face of glaring violations of the law by politically connected vigilante groups, has invariably emboldened other liked minded individuals to act just as recklessly. These people have tested the limits of political impunity and thus far they have succeeded.

As a direct consequence, public confidence in our national institutions, particularly the judiciary, is at an all time low. Government should stop these groups dead in their tracks if it really wants to curb the sort of ghastly behavior we saw over the weekend in Denkyira-Obuasi.


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