The gruesome murder of Major Maxwell Adam Mahama has shaken the spine of the nation and it doesn’t mean it is the first or possibly going to be last. When any situation left unattended gets to a certain pinnacle it hits the populace as though it is fresh but the mind keeps storing such experience until it cannot take it anymore.
Within that week alone of the murder of our hero Maj Mahama, many similar lynching happened as well and other security operatives faced attacks to extend that a police installation was attacked resulting in loss of property.
We have been in denial as a nation with the cliché “Ghanaian hospitality” and have looked on to have this chaotic experience reach a certain crescendo, and it appears nothing can be done about it except the usual rhetoric and media exchanges or discussions.
But as a nation, we must come to the realization that, we have failed to uphold, safeguard and protect one of the brands we cherished dearly called the “Ghanaian hospitality” in the face of all the evidence of bloodshed and increase in crime.
What we need now is acceptance and acknowledgement of the knowledge of happenings we have occurring around us. We must admit that the speed and frequency of these crimes, in the form of instant justice, attack on security men and security installations, political party militarism etc. is un-Ghanaian, inhumane and barbaric culture we are nursing with passive posturing.
This situation must be declared a national security threat to call for a holistic approach to curb it before its impunity becomes an accepted norm or culture. Until recently with the onslaught on social media, gory pictures and videos were obscene to our culture but today what do we see? The haste to break news first without viewer discretion causes us to circulate gory videos of accidents victims, corpse, maimed bodies, etc. These circulations over a period of time builds a mindset that have no remorse and empathy to commit crime because after few weeks of discussion business as usual resumes. We must stop the blame game and rather be responsible and accountable for these evils that have engulfed our nation.
To prove that these situations of crime, bloodshed, violations of law and order, lynching or instant justice has risen to national security threat level, the President must be seen not to only speak about it but stretch forth his hands to call on all stakeholders to find drastic and pragmatic solution to this canker. The National Commission for Civic Education must be resourced to spearhead a campaign that will be to educate the citizenry on responsible citizenship, human rights and promotion of rule of law. We are all aware that, we cannot pay lips service to this menace when the constitutionally mandated body is under resourced. That is why I said that executive arm of government must stretch forth its hands using the mandated bodies to initiate a discourse with financial and logistics support.
The Attorney’s General Department, Ghana Police Service and the Judiciary are equal stake holders to join forces with the NCCE to make sure that the citizenry is engaged in series of dialogues to educate the populace on matters arising from such crimes which impedes the peace to do business and live happily as the days of old where these crimes were unheard off. It is mission critical for these mandated bodies because it is evidential that, the citizenry have lost trust in the constitutional bodies or system.
The clergy and Imams are also a formidable ally to these national discourse to ensure that they use their pulpit and mosques to engage congregants to such evil engulfing our land. The situation we have on our hands knows not religious affiliation and anyone is a potential victim. Yes, it could happen to you and I. If all religion upholds, empathy, fellow feeling, good neighborliness, slow to anger, peace co-existence, practical forgiveness etc. then we must brace ourselves to work hard to uproot this evil. The clergy must appear not to be issuing press releases and press conferences to the condemnation of such barbaric activities, but rather they must be seen, heard and seen that their pulpit and mosque leads the crusade against such evil deeds. As much as the need to win souls is paramount, we must win souls who will worship in truth and practice in serene atmosphere without fear. Experts on such areas must be given space at least ones in a month to educate members on human rights and rule of law. Democracy is not a child’s play but with concentered effort we can model a system that others will want to learn.
National House of Chiefs must be up and doing to make sure that they waddle into this campaign to fight these menace of indiscipline, rancor, bloodshed, mob justice, violation of rule of law etc. Many chiefs have lost their lives through some of these means of crimes and till date no one has been held responsible. This is clear case that even the traditional rulers are not insulated from this crime ongoing in our country which the traditional areas form the nucleus of the nation Ghana. The state must resource and give the chiefs some space as the constitution requires to help in mitigation of disputes and misunderstanding. Every traditional council must have an attaché from the alternate dispute resolution enclave to help them in adjudicating of issues. National House of Chiefs must take lead in sensitizing their people on the laws of the nation especially on the area of human rights. They must be perfect conduit between other agencies and their institutions. Communal dialogues foster sense of unity and respect for rule of law and authority. But I must say that, the chiefs themselves must first exhibit these attributes so that they become an example.
Our politicians must admit that they are part of the problem that has nurtured these demons and monsters who are on rampage causing fear and panic and gross violation of law and order because their government is in power. In the past we have had to deal with Bamba Boys, Azorka boys, Kandaha Boys, Bolga Bulldogs and today our worse night mare is Invisible / Delta Forces. These para-politico militias are growing in our body politics and they serve as bad precedence when and where the rule of law must be allowed to grow. The democracy these parties forms part of to build in Ghana cannot be on fear and panic and go scot free, without ordinary citizens learning from them. UK went to the polls recently and no form of para-politico militia were used, and that is the kind we must work towards. You cannot fight crime whiles you use thugs in your body politicking and they go unpunished.
Last but not the least, the fourth estate of the real must make conscious effort to design programs that will have expert such as psychotherapist, psychiatrist, life coaches, counselors, security gurus etc., worth the title in evidence of work or track record to discuss topics that give birth to such society menace and violence. This attempt should be devoid of the usual sensationalism that seem to have gained grounds in our media practices. Many media practitioners have fallen victims to such crimes and it means no one is exempted from what is happening in our society.
We the citizens must decide the type of nation we want and that decision calls for a certain level of responsibility. We cannot yearn for the rule of law and make turn to act arbitrary to that. Nation building of a democratic dispensation is share responsibility and we are all involved or break down together.
God bless our home land Ghana.
Scofray Nana Yaw Yeboah
Transformational Coach / Lead Consultant for Zoweh Global Consult.