“Remain calm” doesn’t resuscitate the dead

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Dead Bodies

This country lacks a proper security machinery.

 

Over the years, numerous lives had been lost by the action or inaction of our security officials. Many innocent Ghanaians met their untimely-death through tear gas, stray bullet or unnecessary brutality on the part of the Military and Police. The May 9, 2001 incident was a big one, with 126 football enthusiasts dying on that fateful day, others sustained various degrees of injuries. 

Another point worth mentioning is that, the Police had allegedly succeeded in killing innocent individuals all in the name of a certain mistaken identity. If we could recall, on January 5, 2019, a 25-year-old man, Divine Akuinor was allegedly shot dead by a Police Patrol Team at Malik-Adjorman, a suburb of Teshie in Accra. What did the then Inspector General of Police do in averting future occurrence? I am particularly tired of the numerous lips services that cannot curb the insecurity issues. After the “Remain calm”, what next? 

Ghana certainly deserves better. The reason behind the trigger-happy security personnel we have today could be attributed to the alleged use of protocol for recruitment exercises. Maybe, miscreants end up becoming Police and Military Officers at the expense of genuine applicants who could have served us better. I continue to bleed for my nation because the system isn’t working. Must we always wait till murder happens before we execute a directive? Our security officials have failed woefully in the discharge of their duties. When citizens realise a certain insecurity in their immediate environment, they resort to protecting themselves. The Ejura incident was a typical example. Our institutions must bow in shame. Elsewhere, this could have had security officials alleged to have committed this crime incarcerated for lack of simple mob control devoid of bloodshed.

What am I saying? We lack professional Police and Military Officers to carry out the very activities of irate mob control. The records are there to expose hence wouldn’t touch on them. Now, the Ashanti Regional Police Command has told the General Public, particularly Chiefs and Residents of Ejura, that investigations into the circumstances surrounding the death of two people in Ejura Sekyedumase on Tuesday have begun. The two were allegedly shot following a conflict between Military Personnel and Ejura Sekyedumase’s agitating youth, who were protesting the killing of an activist, Ibrahim Mohammed. Four others also sustained severe injuries. 

According to a press release signed by Assistant Superintendent of Police Godwin Ahianyo that I read, the Ashanti Region’s Public Affairs Officer, hinted that “preliminary investigations showed that following the burial of Ibrahim Mohammed, aka, Kaaka at Mempeasem cemetery at Ejura on June 29, some irate youth blocked the main Ejura Atebubu road, impeding traffic.” 

“These security personnel fired bullets to disperse the angry mob who refused to retreat.” “The police went in with military reinforcement to calm the situation, but the outraged youth charged on the security with all kinds of tools including firearms, clubs, machines, and stones.” They had gathered in large numbers at all four corners. In the process, the dead and injuries were recorded.”

I humbly do not think, the Public Affairs Officer, of the Ashanti Regional Police Command, ASP Godwin Ahianyo would have written this same piece if his sons were among the dead. It is sad but I have to write in anticipation to change the status quo. You tell people to remain calm but that doesn’t bring the dead to life. This is absolutely lack of professionalism on the part of the security officials who were dispatched to safeguard lives and properties. No damage control speech can bring the dead to life. It doesn’t portray any good image about the profession.  Please, get it.

In spite of this, I hear one of the respected journalists of our time, Abdul Malik Kweku Baako, who doubles as the Managing Editor of the New Crusading Guide Newspaper urging government to compensate the families of three persons who were killed by the security forces. With the greatest of respect, Sir, I disagree with you. Can compensation be used as substitute for life? I would have expected something concrete from you not this. 

I know the public had already formed a certain perception about His Excellency Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo over some of these happenings. Remember, he lost two Presidential Elections because his opponents questioned his character. It took him time to convince Ghanaians and disabuse the minds of his character assassins. He finally had the nod in the 2016 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections. Five years down the line, some of the issues raised by his opponents are happening. Do you think it’s funny? If a pragmatic approach isn’t adopted within the shortest possible time, the 2024 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections will see the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) in opposition. 

This piece of mine isn’t backed by politics neither do I intend to engage in any unhealthy political discourse. However, I pray the critical thinkers find this piece of mine informative enough so that the right signals could be sent to individuals at the helm of affairs to ensure that the Ejura victims find justice. 

Let’s be each other’s keeper and make Ghana a better place for all of us.  

 

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