Since 1966 that first coup took place in Ghana to end the rule of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, many unjustifiable military brutalities on Ghanaian people has been left in the annals of history and forgotten. That cannot continue under this current democratic dispensation of ours when only the law is supreme.The only way that it can be stopped is to prosecute criminal soldiers who find themselves in conflict with the law. Let the law deal with them appropriately without fear or favour.
Ghanaians, based on their experienced and agreed realities came to fear the soldiers more than respecting them based on their attitude of brutalities and violence unleashed on them at least chance by the soldiers. Successive military takeovers cemented the “perceived” military superiority in the minds of Ghanaians and increased their fear of soldiers. Ghanaians terrified and trembled at the feet of the soldiers because anytime there is a takeover, the constitution is suspended, some form of lawlessness is perpetrated and violence unleashed on some innocent Ghanaians.
From 1966 to 1981, about six coups took place in Ghana. Almost all these coups were accompanied by some form of violence and lawlessness so Ghanaians became accustomed to the treatments of soldiers and feared them more instead of respecting them. This has inculcated some thinking into some “shallow minded” individuals in the military who believe that the military is supreme to all other security services and for that matter can take them for granted and treat them anyhow, particularly the police.
These soldiers should be made to understand that the days of military takeovers and revolutions are long gone, dead and buried deep in the history of Ghanaians and for that matter, they should get the right orientations that come with democracy and rule of law because it has come to stay. The paradigm has shifted to a more decent form of governance where the rule of law is supreme and it is applied without fear or favour. It is however expected that trained soldiers should be law abiding instead of lawlessness as exhibited by the lieutenant and his men at Kwesimintsim police station to extent of beating a whole pregnant policewoman mercilessly.
There was a turning point in the lives of all Ghanaians including the soldiers themselves in 1992 when the constitution was promulgated and the nation accepted democracy as her system of administration and governance. This democracy brought about rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights of all manner of persons and freedom of speech and expression. Any law that is against these basic provision of the constitution is null and void per the dictates of the constitution in article 1, clause 2.
Ghana went a step further to uphold her democracy when in the year 2000 the man himself Flt/Lt Jerry John Rawlings who has two successive coups titles under his belt handed over power to J. A Kufour and his NPP after 19 years in power. I have a huge respect for Paapa J for his contributions to make Ghana stable unlike Yahya Jammeh in somewhere the Gambia who is on the brink of sending his country into political crisis and power struggles.
Ghana has since had change of power alternating from political parties to another with our recent general elections conducted in December 7 as most credible, transparent, free and fair ever to have been conducted in the history of this country. It’s a plus for all Ghanaians and security services particularly the military and police stood in the center of the threshold as far as the peace and stability of this country is concerned when it comes to elections.
I must say that that this feat of deepening Ghana’s democracy would have been very impossible without the combined efforts of all our security services particularly the police and the military. We are partners in ensuring that our efforts collaborate and complement one another as security services to make the Ghanaian society safe and better in execution of our constitutionally mandated duties and not to attack one another at the least opportunity. We are partners serving in various capacities for the peace and stability of our motherland, Ghana. That should guide us one Ghanaians serving in different security services to foster unity among us.
I therefore find it very difficult and ask, what at all will make a well trained soldier see himself to be superior to a police officer in this democratic dispensation and for that matter organise themselves to a police station to beat them up in an attempt to free a British soldier who has misbehaved and has been arrested by police officers who are mandated to do so ? It beats my imagination if these soldiers are not truly criminals. “I can’t think far” here and “I can’t think madness”. The law must take its course this time around.
The behaviours of those soldiers is an upfront to constitutional rule and the rule of law, and for that matter must be dealt per the dictates of the law and within its confines. If the behaviour of miscreants in the military attacking the police every now and then is not nibbed from the bud, it will one day bring about photographs of horrifying images that will send shivers into the spine for all those who look on unconcerned as the “bandits” in the military keep assaulting and brutalising the police. The very reason why we should put all hands on deck to remove miscreants in the security services particularly the police and the military.
It appears that round table discussions to solve these issues do not help matters but rather end up to shield miscreants in the military who organise themselves to attack the police. The round table inter police and military dialogues seem to rather help these individual criminals in the military to evade justice thus the very reasons why there is a continuous attack on the police because there is no precedent set to deter others from such occurrences in the future.
This time around, these criminally minded soldiers must be made to face the full rigors of the law like all other criminals without fear or favour. They should be made to pay the full price for their reckless behaviours towards the police and disrespect for our state laws. Justice in the interest of the state must be served without delays because justice delayed is justice denied.
The soldier is not above the law. The criminal soldier should not find comfort in the law when he offends it.
This is not the first time soldiers are beating the police and going away with it. An assault on the servant of the king is assault on the king himself. If the king is not so much interested if his servant is being assaulted continuously, common sense should tell the servant that he should protect himself from being assaulted all the times.
We have escorted some of our own to prisons. Some who were even executing their constitutionally mandated duties but went beyond the extreme and for that matter defaulted one way or the other. We were not merciful to them. Let us equally apply the law on these soldiers.
Justice for Kwesimintsim police!
Prosecute the criminal soldier!!
The law must work!!!
By: Ahanta Apemenyimheneba Kwofie III