Parliament and normalization of acid attacks in Ghana

Pacid Poured A victim of acid attack

Mon, 21 Nov 2016 Source: Osei, Nana Yaw

By Nana Yaw Osei

Pouring acid on jilted lovers or political opponents is gaining grounds in Ghana. For example, “a lover’s squabble has landed a driver’s mate in trouble with the law after he poured acid on his girlfriend who had threatened to leave him.

Stephen Donkor, 21, has been charged with attempted murder of his girlfriend, Mary Oforiwaa, 18. Donkor’s plea was not taken and he was remanded in police custody by the presiding Judge, Mr James Kojo Botah.

Oforiwaa was not present in court because she was still receiving treatment at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital” (Source: citifmonline.com. November 18, 2016). To borrow the words of Wole Sonyika, “hatched from the egg of impunity: a fowl” called acid murder must be a concern of all and sundry.

Parliament has been tasked by Ghanaians to make laws to ensure their safety and welfare. Parliament remained adamant about the enactment of acid sale laws, albeit, numerous incidents of acid attacks on the citizens of Ghana. When citizens expressed their views on the ineffectiveness of 6th parliament of the republic of Ghana, then they are hurled before privileges committee of parliament as if this is the only parliament under the foregoing republic. Hmm! A village idiot they say is an elected office and people proudly contest for it. What privileges do you have as a legislative body in Ghana when the privileges to exist as human beings of the very citizens you represent are truncated with acid attacks every now and then while parliament looks unperturbed? What are parliamentarians waiting for regarding acid sale regulatory laws?

Fellow countrymen, I honestly struggle to catch the drift on our legislators (Law makers) refusal to enact laws to restrict acid sales in Ghana despite many acid related crimes in the country. “The highly corrosive, deadly liquid, acid, which lately appears to have become a weapon for murder is sold at obscure shops in Accra at a pitiable price of one cedis fifty pesewas per gallon.

Joy News' Kwetey Nartey who went to Abossey Okai in Accra, a place known for the sale of car parts reported the corrosive material is also being sold without any regulation” (Source: myjoyonline.com, May 22, 2015). The source went further to assert that "You don't need any form of identification or any formal process. You only need a relationship with those who are selling it," What are the sins of Ghanaians to warrant this callousness from the 6th parliament of the fourth republic?

The second and third parliaments under the above republic were very effective and they are always commended. If acid related killings could not goad members of parliament to enact laws to regulate the sale of the aforesaid dangerous chemical, it means Ghanaians are better of living under military dictatorship. I think Idi Amin Dada and Yahya Jammeh would be more lenient than this parliament that is still not worried about acid related death of the citizens.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr asserted that “between two groups of people who want to make inconsistent kinds of worlds, I see no remedy but force.” Thus, Ghanaians must force parliament to enact laws to restrict the sale of acid. Parliamentarians cannot hide behind their dictatorial privileges committee to intimidate the citizens especially when there are ample testimonies depicting negligence of duty. Parliamentarians must know that they cannot continue to enjoy their privileges while some criminal citizens have been privileged by parliament (refusal to enact laws to limit acid sales) to douse innocent citizens with acid.

Acid attack must be discouraged in Ghana. Killing is very “un-Ghanaian” my brothers and sisters. Why do you murder people you heretofore claimed you loved? Romantic relationship is free entry free exist. No man or woman has the right to pour acid on a jilted lover. Ghanaians must vote for competent legislators who can make laws to ensure that their safety and welfare needs are assured. Our dear parliamentarians, you must be mindful of depriving the citizens of hope. Today, it is somebody, tomorrow it could be me or you whether legislator or not. Please show some love to the very citizens you represent.

“We can conceive of a future without high-rises. But humanity without music and love is not just inconceivable: it is impossible” (George Leonard). God Bless Our Homeland Ghana. Feedbacks must be directed to padigogoma77@yahoo.co.uk

Nana Yaw Osei (Padigo), USA.

Columnist: Osei, Nana Yaw