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Opinions of Sunday, 3 March 2019

Columnist: Esther Koikale Sassraku

Ayawaso violence: Why we can’t just condemn and move on

Many have condemned and criticized it to be wrong, but do we just condemn and leave it to hang? I do not require an answer from you but I will tell you what my sincere fears are.

From all indications, Ghanaians should be worried and disturbed about the outscoring of political vigilante groups and their activities in the country, especially in recent times.

Sometimes the seeming lack of ability of the state security agencies such the police to counter, arrest and punish these hoodlums makes it easy for one to easily forget about their existence and the fact that they are mandated by the state to protect its citizens. Let me ask again, where are the security agencies to protect us and ensure our safety as citizens in the country. Are they waiting for a command beyond the IGP’s? well that command will not come because the IGP’s word is your command. Or are we to assume that the IGP gives command in public and says something else in secret? Fact is we are ‘officially’ scared for our lives, we are beginning to get the point where the presence and the assurance of the police means nothing.

We know that is not a desirable point, but you can’t blame us when you, the police, keep disappointing us with your sheer weakness to deal with people who openly obstruct justice and fight legitimate authority under the guise of vigilantism or political security. Disband them, period!

Come to think of it, how do you expect us to act normal when some unidentified, masked and armed men deployed to monitor an election by ensuring the election is peaceful turn to rather harm electorates and create fear.

The violence during the by-election has made people make certain comments creating fear and panic in citizens leaving them in a pool of thoughts. Where will they go? What will they do?

Do we even think about the vulnerable: women, children, aged and disabled? Although a commission has been set to investigate the incidence, do we just leave it to them to work as we sit aloof? no way! we all have a role to play. The so-called vigilantes live in our communities, they are our husbands, children and brothers.

Let’s talk them out of violence or better still expose them for who they are. At least in that way, we would be making our stands known openly. Let us remember that In war, there’s no work, productivity, development, religion and many more.

Is this the legacy we want to leave for future generations? Certainly not. Let’s not allow ourselves to be used by political parties and politicians for their selfish interest. What are the measures we putting in place to prevent what happened in the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Elections from repeating itself In the 2020 elections? Lets’ be vigilant, make Wise decisions and guard the peace our forefathers left for us.

As my dad says “an action you take today will have an impact on you tomorrow”. If we turn blind eye to these bloodthirsty groups, obviously the repercussion will be on our heads. You have seen a few of the likely repercussion, imagine the rest. The time to act is now.