Ghanaians are currently in a state of morbidity and horror over the brutal murder of a Military Officer. The officer, Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama was lynched by residents of Diaso in the Upper Denkyira West District of the Central Region of Ghana on Monday 29th May on suspicion of being an armed robber.
The late Captain was a military officer with the 5th Infantry Batallion (5BN) at Burma Camp in Accra but on detachment duties at Denkyira Boase of the Central Region of Ghana. Captain Mahama who is the commander of the area military detachment according to his subordinates, was seen jogging along the main road and as he stopped by to ask some women for directions, the women saw a pistol on him. The women who were alarmed by the discovery of the pistol on the captain mistook him for an armed robber thereby alerting their assembly member who allegedly organized some men to lynch him and even burnt him to death in the process. The women’s action is said to have been influenced by recent robbery attacks in the area with a recent one been a day before as the people of the mining town have been subjected to some serious robbery attacks.
The military officer who was not in uniform when the incident happened is said to have pleaded with the mob not to lynch him, indicating he was not an armed robber but an army officer, but his plea was not considered by the mob who hit him with several objects including Cement blocks.
This is a typical example of mob justice which the President of Ghana, former Presidents, and all well-meaning Ghanaians have unequivocally condemned. I found it difficult coming to terms with this incident because of its heinous and inhumane nature. On hearing the sad news, I asked myself; which armed robber in their right senses would be jogging with his pistol exposed and innocently ask for directions in broad daylight? Which armed robber would have a pistol on him and stay calm while you lynch him? Where has the human feeling of some people gone to, where a harmless human being is crying out for messy and you turn a deaf ear to him?
I was sickened when I heard, the District Chief Executive of the town alleging that Captain Mahama was part of a military dispatch team protecting illegal Chinese galamsey (illegal Mining) operators in the town. While a majority of Ghanaians including the president have out rightly condemned the act, here is a respected representative of the president in the town turning a blind eye to the act and trying to divert the focus to an irrelevant issue. No amount of excuse can justify this act.
I believe, it is just gross indiscipline and lawlessness that has brought us to this shameful stage as a country. This country has witnessed sequel acts of indiscipline in recent times and this incident just happens to be the straw that broke the camel’s back.
On Monday 29th May, hundreds of irate youth besieged the Somanya Police station, vandalized property, set fire to a police car and freed four suspected criminals in police custody. Their action saw many police officers around the station, fleeing for their lives. The action of the irate youth was sparked by the arrest of a resident who is accused of masterminding an earlier violent demonstration of residents against the Electricity Company of Ghana over high bills.
I remember in February this year, a lady accused of theft at Adum, Kumasi in the Ashanti Region of Ghana was beaten and stripped naked. A video that circulated on social media detailing the instant mob justice showed men beating the woman on the street with some of them attempting to insert their feet into her vagina until she lost consciousness.
When the New Patriotic Party (NPP) usurped the reigns of political power from the erstwhile National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the 2016 general elections, some sympathizers of the NDC came under heavy physical attack from supporters of the NPP.
As if this was not enough, some supporters of the NPP went on a rampage, raiding government installations and private properties in the name of protecting state assets. The acting National Chairman of the party had the effrontery to defend their actions by saying, it was a move to protect state property.
Just when we thought sanity would prevail, Pro-NPP vigilante groups, Invisible Forces and Delta Force emerged. The Invisible forces had the temerity to attack a policeman who was at post at Ghana’s seat of government- the Flagstaff house. The policeman is believed to be part of the guards at the Flagstaff house (Ghana’s seat of Ghana) during the erstwhile John Mahama administration.
Delta Force, on the other hand, attacked the Ashanti Regional security coordinator in March this year. They broke louver blades, vandalized furniture and ransacked his office. They claim the security coordinator wasn’t part of the struggle to win power from the NDC during the 2016 general elections hence does not deserve the position.
To add insult to injury, members of this same vigilante group stormed a Kumasi Circuit Court in the Ashanti region of Ghana and freed some 13 colleagues of theirs, who were facing charges for their barbaric act at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council.
All these incidents are not intertwined but they all have violence and lawlessness in common. It’s sad to see a nation whose forebears laid down their lives in the attainment of independence and rule of law, being degraded to a lawless state. It is shameful for these gross acts of indiscipline to be taking place in a country that prides itself as Africa’s beacon of hope. It is appalling for mob justice to be festering in a nation who just chalked 60years of gaining independence. Are we holding in high esteem, the heritage won for us, through the blood and toil of our fathers, as we always pledge in our national pledge? It is time for the rule of law and justice to prevail. Let’s all unite as a country and fight any act of indiscipline. If not, God will not bless our homeland Ghana and make it great and strong as we always pray for in our national anthem.
WRITER- Desmond Pappy Tawiah.