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General News of Saturday, 3 June 2017

Source: Starrfmonline.com

I was nearly lynched in 2003 – Ken Attafuah

The Executive Secretary of the National Identification Authority (NIA), Prof. Ken Attafuah has disclosed that he nearly became a victim of mob action in 2003 at Kaneshie in Accra.

Recounting his ordeal to the host of The Lounge, Kwaku Sakyi-Addo on Friday, Prof. Attafuah who is a lawyer and a criminologist said: “I personally came dangerously closed to be lynched right in front of Kaneshie Police Station in 2003. I had just returned from New York, somebody had given me a parcel to pass on to another person at the Kaneshie Market.”

“As I was passing in front of the Police Station, all I heard was ‘Onie, Ono aa” and all of a sudden, I was surrounded. They were already prepared; holding stones and sticks and a Police woman was sitting by idly watching the spectacle that was just about to happen,” he narrated.

According to him, the mob said he resembled someone who had supposedly fleeced an individual in a taxi sale scam.

“He [alleged suspect] had bought a taxi and paid a little bit and bolted and they had made a report at the Police Station and were watching and lo and behold, I passed,” he said.

The nation has been thrown into a state of shock and anger following the lynching of an army commander, Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama last Monday by some residents of Denyira-Obuasi in the Upper West Denkyira district of the Central region on suspicion of being an armed robber.

So far, 25 people have been arrested and are on remand while seven out of the 16 have been charged with murder.

Prof. Attafuah believes everyone in Ghana is a potential victim of mob action “because we have not contained this crime… If you say ‘julor’ in Accra, you will get an army of ready young men and women who will pounce on the victim.”

He further stated that the news of the lynched officer did not surprise him saying, “truthfully, I wasn’t shocked. I was hurt, I was disappointed in us as a people but I wasn’t shocked the least by the fact of his death, the manner of his killing, where he was killed or the circumstance. Nothing about this story is new. The only new thing is the personality; the person who was the victim of the most heinous crime.”

He mentioned that Ghana’s history is replete with the killing of people of all persuasions “on the flimsiest of excuses – a strong dose of suspicion, a good number of motivated offenders and absence of capable defenders.”

Ghana among the most lawless nations

The NIA Executive Secretary indicated that the perception that Ghanaians are peaceful and decent is deceptive.

“We have cultivated for ourselves a very positive, super benevolent image of Ghanaians being better than our neighbours next door. We have somehow succeeded in deceiving ourselves that we are the best people in the world.

Every Ghanaian thinks of himself as decent and law abiding and yet the reality is that we are among the most lawless nations in the world,” he said.

The Lounge with Kwaku Sakyi-Addo airs live on Starr FM every Friday from 7pm to 8pm and on GHOne on Sundays from 8pm to 9pm.