Anger at Military Barracks: Ghana’s democracy under threat

Mon, 5 Jun 2017 Source: Citizen Korsi

Ghana risk reverting to the dark days of coup d’état if the gruesome and cold-blooded murder of the young affable Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama of Ghana army is not “properly” managed by the state, security experts are warning.

Renowned security experts who spoke to this paper on rising tension in the country say, the pent-up emotions among soldiers in the various barracks and garrisons across the country following the horrific killing of Captain Mahama; signals the dangers Ghana finds itself.

The uneasiness at the various military barracks and garrisons add to the already heightened tension in the country occasioned by activities of NPP-led vigilante groups, Invincible Forces, Delta Forces and sponsored thugs.

Brutalities by these marauding party supporters, raiding of court to free their colleagues and their subsequent release for want of evidence, unlawful seizure of vehicles and random dismissal of public sector workers suspected of being sympathizers of the outgone NDC among others is causing consternation in the country.

Since the premeditated heinous murder of the young military officer by some residents of Denkyira-Obuase in the Central region some nine days ago, tension has been mounting in various barracks and garrisons across the country with some of the livid soldiers baying for the blood of the slain soldier's killers.

The Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Obed Akwa last Thursday had it hectic trying to calm down the otherwise disciplined but, peeved Ghanaian men and women in uniform.

The emotionally charged soldiers want revenge over the lynching of their colleague.

“We are the last resort in this country. If we allow ourselves to be beaten this way… as a Christian, by what Jesus said in Matthew 26 verse 52: he who draws the sword must die by the sword,” one fuming soldier stated.

The soldiers also expressed impatience with the pace of the police investigation, which has so far seen the arrest of nearly twenty suspects for their alleged roles in the gruesome murder.

“We have military police. It is not in every instance that we allow the civilian police to be telling us about evidence. You have seen something clearly and you are telling me about evidence.

What more evidence do you want from this? The Ghana Armed Forces has the military police. We can handle our things. It is not everything that you take to the civil police,” another noted.

Some of the soldiers also called for a total boycott and discontinuation of all anti- lumbering and galamsey operations currently being undertaken by the Army.

“I will suggest we leave the work for the police to also carry out so that we come back to our barracks,” one soldier forcefully state.

The Chief of Defence Staff however, called for cool heads and reiterated earlier calls by Former Presidents, J.J Rawlings, Mahama and President Akufo-Addo, to persuade them not to engage in any reprisal attacks.

“Even though this is a cruel act, cool heads must prevail. A statement like this coming from a former member of the Ghana Armed Forces and a former head of state and a former commander in chief needs to be examined and listened to very carefully.”

“That is my appeal to you today. Additionally, our Commander-in-Chief has assured us that nobody is going to go scot-free in this particular incident. We are collaborating with all the relevant security agencies and we are making study progress.”

He announced that, the Military High Command will take care of the family of late Captain Mahama. “I’ve been given some assurances. A lot of philanthropists have already come up and asked:

‘What can we do for the family?’ In fact one person wanted to see me today asking what he can do to support the education of the two children. I have no doubt in my mind that the family of this officer will never be left in the lurch,” he stated.

The gruesome murder of the Army Captain and other lawlessness in the country in recent times; signals a repeat of the 1979 coup if immediate steps are not taken to curb creeping indiscipline in the country, a former National Security Coordinator, Mr Kofi Bentum Quantson has warned.

According to Mr Quantson, if perpetrators of these heinous crimes continue to go unpunished, the country may soon be up in flames.

A socio/political analyst, Mr. Kwadwo Nyamba, has also been expressing fears over possible civil uprising following what he says is the general break down of law and order which appears to be deteriorating by the day.

Mr. Nyamba, who is also afraid of a possible return to military rule wrote on his facebook wall, “RIP to the murdered service man...but many of us with our mob mentality have tacitly or openly endorsed the criminal behavior or act that the GAF is doing currently.

No law-abiding citizen in a democracy must endorse the lawless behavior of the very people who should know better in their response to the most barbaric act committed by some lawless thugs in the town in question.

Nana, shine your eyes, the military have no business to be empowered at this level. Learn from Limann. Things are falling apart.........slowly... "Da Yie"!”

In a follow up interview, Kwadwo Nyamba explained the correlation between the high rate of unemployment and crime in general, saying “unemployment, both formal and informal and the almost zero State/Central government’s help to majority of our rural folks and poor in society who have no connections to the central elite leads most of them, farmers (rural and semi-rural dwellers) and the urban poor to do whatever it takes to survive”.

According to Mr. Nyamba, “most of our lands have slowly been taken over by the galamsey activities which are heavily protected by "big folks" in many ways…initially the poor whose source of livelihood (farming) was taken away got a replacement in the galamsey to use to feed his or her family…but now the galamsey is under threat from the very same middle class and political elite who have been the biggest beneficiaries.

So the lands are already damaged, galamsey jobs are under threat, man must still survive which is creating frustrations and depression. This is boiling and slowly building up.

We must address this inequality well and fast by giving good assurances to the various affected communities in the 8 regions that are involved in the galamsey else; their revolt which has started slowly as lynching will mobilize them faster into small armies that can be very disastrous looking at the sort of sophisticated weapons we saw them wielding in Denkyira-Boase.

The army always wants a reason to take over and we must not give them one easily”, he noted

Ghanaians have been expressing rage and disappointment in the manner in which the former St Johns old student was murdered. The Jaana-Yiantu family of the late 32 year old military Captain described the process leading to his death as inhuman and callous.

“The pain is numbing. It is beyond belief that a group of Ghanaians can debase a fellow Ghanaian, subject him to such dehumanizing barbarity, and take his life gleefully without provocation,” a statement signed by spokesperson of the family, Douri Bennin Haji, noted.

The barbaric nature of Captain Adam’s murder has forced government to virtually shut down some internet links that have uploaded the photos and videos of the gruesome lynching.

"There have been four URLs that have been blocked on YouTube and other social media. However, there are a lot of these videos and lot of these units so as they are being blocked, new ones are being brought back," a deputy Minister of Communications, George Andah revealed.

Both former Presidents Jerry Rawlings and John Mahama have also condemned the barbaric act and have called on the security agencies to bring the perpetrators to book. President Akufo-Addo has also called for calm, while assuring that rule of law will work to bring justice to the family of murdered Army Captain

"I have been fighting for it all my life and now that I am in the chair I have to make sure there is meaning to it," the President said.

The President, as part of his commitment to ensure rule of law works, has suspended the District Chief Executive of Upper West Denkyira, Daniel Appianing, for some provocative comments he allegedly made relating to Captain Mahama’s death.

But Member of Parliament for Builsa South, Dr. Clement Apaak has said the president ought to have sacked the DCE instead of the suspension he handed him.

Dr. Apaak said: ''Mr. President, suspension of a DCE who not only peddled falsehood about the late Captain Mahama by suggesting that he was on site protecting Chinese galamseyers but went on to try a justification of the murder of Captain Mahama, the head of a detachment of a military unit YOU deployed to fight the menace of galamsey to; protect our lands, protect our water bodies, protect our forest and ultimately secure our survival as Commander In Chief?

Mr. President you must sack the DCE right away! A suspension, be decisive Mr. President!

You must put an end to the acts of lawlessness and the impunity which have become pervasive across the country.

The buck stops with you President NADAA!

The MP for Kumbungu Constituency in the Northern Region, Ras Mubarak and other Ghanaians also described Captain Mahama’s murder as “senseless”.

In a statement presented on the floor of Parliament, the Kumbungu legislator said “Mr. Speaker the manner in which Maxwell died, does enormous damage to the moral authority of our country. It makes us fall short as a country where rule of law is respected. This is not the country you grew up in; Mr. Speaker.’’

Columnist: Citizen Korsi
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