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General News of Thursday, 1 June 2017


Mahama lynching: We seem to be wicked, unforgiving – Prof Attafuah

Criminologist and Conflict Resolution Expert, Prof. Ken Agyeman Attafuah says the horrific killing of a Captain of the Ghana Army is a reflection of the “wicked and unforgiving” make-up of us, as a people.

The fallen officer, whom many have described as decent and gentle, died on Monday, May 29, after he was beaten, stoned and burnt by residents of Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central Region while he had gone for his usual early morning physical exercise.

Capt. Maxwell Adam Mahama is seen in a video shot of the incident and circulated on social media, surrendering his weapon before the mob carried out their dastardly act. The mob later claimed they mistook him for an armed robber because he carried a weapon.

At least Seven (7) persons, including the Assemblyman for the area, William Baah, are in the grip of the Central Region Police after a joint military cum police swoop in the town early Tuesday.

Traditional leaders of the area have declared Sunday, June 4, as a day of mourning the Captain’s death. They are also holding a special pacification and purification service to ask for spiritual intervention and to heal the community.

Speaking on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM Thursday, June 1, 2017, Prof. Attaafuah said the action by the mob “is a dramatisation of evil; it is the banalest evil in us”.

Without mincing words, Prof. Attafuah who is also a Human Rights Lawyer said: “What we have seen in the last four days is the coronation of the most banal of our people. We are wicked; we are unforgiving [and] we are excessively punitive”.

“We have a very strong punitive ethos which combines with our lawlessness which produces the kind of situation in which we are,” he added.

The Executive Director of the National Identification Authority (NIA) said the situation, unfortunately, also stems from the public's lack of trust in the criminal justice system.

“Ironically, mob justice reflects public lack of confidence in the criminal justice system [but] it also reflects our lack of patience…Our belief is that we are better off killing an armed robber than sending him to the police,” he added.

Public outcry demanding for justice for the late officer has been fierce, and President Nana Akufo-Addo has vowed that the killers will not go unpunished. Former Presidents John Mahama and John Rawlings have also condemned the gruesome attack.

Play attached audio for the full version of the interview Prof. Attafuah