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Opinions of Monday, 15 April 2013

Columnist: Akyena, Benjamin Brantuo

Ghana Police attacked 'vandals'

Ghana Police attacked 'VANDALS' of the University of Ghana again!!

News report via http://edition.myjoyonline.com/pages/news/201304/104408.php and
several others on 13 April, 2013 that the Ghana Police Service has arrested over
hundred Commonwealth Hall students of the University of Ghana for heralding their
Hall Week celebration with a public gathering without prior approval from the
police service is depressing but not surprising. The Police action is only a
rehash of what they did to Vandals of Commonwealth Hall on the 24th March 2007 for
the same reasons. My response then, written on 26 March 2007 and published by the
Daily Graphic has been reproduced here unedited as appropriate response to the
current development.

‘24TH MARCH, POLICE BRUTALITIES’

My heart bleeds and aches with excessive anguish and pain as the unfortunate news of
Police brutalities against peaceful and unarmed Vandals trickled in yesterday. It is
indeed very disturbing and quiet worrying, how the Police Service, which is suppose
to be a lawful state institution charged to ensure the safety of law abiding
citizens could be so mean and lawless. Instead of ensuring orderliness the Police
rather became an obstruction and stood in the way of peace, public sanity and
serenity.

History recalls countless instances where very despicable and unprofessional
tendencies of the Ghana Police has led to the death and maiming of innocent citizens
in this country. However, the unwarranted and unprovoked attacks of 24th March 2007
on Commonwealth Hall Students is unique in the sense that, it is the first time
students who had gone on float to sensitize the public about malaria prevention have
been subjected to untold brutality at the hands of the Ghana Police Service. We have
every cause to believe that yesterdays attack was premeditated in line with a sworn
vendetta of the police against Ghanaian students in general but Commonwealth
Students in Particular.

We Vandals wish to make it categorically clear to Government that when law enforcers
of the land who decide to be lawless are left to go unpunished under a democratic
dispensation, lawful citizens, in this case Vandals, are left with very limited
options; the best of which is to defend ourselves. Commonwealth Hall Students shall
not allow themselves to be added to the list of senseless police killings as the
nation has witnessed in the May 9th stadium Disaster, the Dansoman and Kotobabi cold
blooded murders.

Fellow Vandals, let not lose sight of one important fact, that in the face of
imminent danger some of our colleagues made the loudest statements with their lives
by defying the blazing guns of the Police to the rescue of arrested Vandals.
Yesterday the Ghana Police was able to disperse us, bruise our ego and pride, but
let this not be misconstrued as cowardice on our part. One fact is certain that,
Vandals can always take care of themselves, and we have amply demonstrated this, and
once again we shall rise above this gusty storm. We are Vandals and by the power of
our minds we shall prevail over all the arms and ammunitions of the Ghana Police
Service. If the Police Service took us for a bunch of nonentities it only goes to
portray their level of ignorance of the times in which we live.
Vandals, the unfortunate outcome of yesterday’s float dubbed “Alhaji” is evocative
of the Tsnaman Square gunning down of students in China and the 1948 Christiansburg
Castle crossroads shootings.

Last but not the least, Vandals, while we are nursing our physical or psychosomatic
injuries and preparing for the next line of action the greatest harm we can do to
ourselves is to be oblivious of the significance of this period. I wish you speedy
recovery, however, be rest assured that by any means necessary we shall exact
justice and vindication.....

Issued on 26 March 2007 by
Akyena Brantuo Benjamin
Former President of the JCR-COMMONWEALTH HALL
University of Ghana, Legon

CC The Minister of Education
The Inspector General of Police
The National Union of Ghana Students
The Vice Chancellor, University Of Ghana
The Hall Master Commonwealth Hall
The Old Vandals Association
The Dean of Students University of Ghana, Legon
The Students Representative Council, University Of Ghana
The Jcr President Commonwealth Hall
All Media Houses
All Notice Boards