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Opinions of Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Columnist: Abubakr Sidiq Ahmed

Major Maxwell Mahama Adam - A fallen hero

On Monday the 29th of May, 2017, Ghanaians woke up to the unpleasant news of a murder of a military personnel - Major Maxwell Mahama Adam in Denkyira Obuasi, a mining community in the Upper Denkyira West District of Central Region.

This has since become topical in the media and public due to the circumstances that led to his death. His death is utterly incomprehensible, it beats human imagination and we are yet to come to terms with the devastation his death has caused to some of us.

We are told that, his death was as a result of a mistaken identity which to me, begs the question! Even toddlers can tell a military personnel from an armed robber by their looks.

So, what at all went wrong with the people of Denkyira Obuasi, for them to have called this nice military personnel an armed robber, lynched and burnt him when he had told them in plain language that he - Major Maxwell Mahama Adam was a soldier?

This might be a grand plot or the culture of senseless mob action which has insidiously eaten up our morals as a people time immemorial. I cannot still come to terms with this. How can an armed robber single handedly rob a whole village in broad day light?

We are all aware and most of the time, witnesses to mob justice in our communities. It is not uncommon to hear or see suspected offenders in our societies been summarily prosecuted and executed by wrong thinking individuals. This is because our society believes that power belongs to the people.

This is true, however, prosecutorial power does not lie in the hands of the people! This mindset is nourished by the conspicuous silence of people, especially those in authorities who neither publicly condemn nor exact punitive actions against such miscreants. As a result, this has continually existed and festered, and one of its various manifestations is what happened in Denkyira Oboasi.

Before this Denkyira Obuasi madden murder of Major Maxwell Mahama Adam, we have heard news of innocent women and men suspected of witchcraft, wizardry and other forms of crimes, more often involving crimes of misdemeanour.

And, these persons are beaten to pulp and in worst cases to death on the grounds of mere suspicion and no one says nothing. No suspect is guilty until proven by a competent court of jurisdiction! Is this just a cliché?

In my observation, our society continues to suffer this cancerous menace because the following;

First, no one finds it needful to wage war against mob action which has been with us for years. No one, not even government agencies such N.C.C.E, the Information Service Department and human right non-governmental organisations find it necessary to educate Ghanaians and create awareness on the need to report suspects of any sort to the police or even the traditional authorities and not take the law into their hands.

Again, the society has no much trust in our justice system. This is a society where more often than not, the justice system is believed to have allowed offenders walk freely from the grips of the law. With this in the minds of some members of the society, they prefer taking the law into their hands to resorting to the rule of law. And, when evidence of crimes is relegated, confidence of the society is affected!

Another factor that has contributed greatly to this barbaric culture in our society is political intolerance and impunity. History will side with me that, both past and recent developments in our political discourse and advancement have been many at times dotted with chaotic scenes.

We can talk of excesses of the military regimes in the past and the present political party vigilantism. Most of these groups in their attempts to protect their political parties's interest indulge in violence of excessive proportions.



Perpetrators of these perpetual brutish behaviours are often shielded and at the end, left off the hook by the powers be. We are all witnesses, and we can cite instances, and both N.D.C and N.P. P are the worst culprits. When this is not bated, it becomes the order of the day.

One cannot genuinely talk about causes of mob actions without taking into accounts our educational system. The kind of educational system we run is also to be blamed for some of these excesses and atrocities by members of the public. Why? You will notice that, most of the persons involved in this so-called 'mob justice' are the youth.

These attackers on the average, are Junior or Senior High School leavers. These people have passed through the JHS and/or SHS system(s) but do not have a modicum of civic knowledge or awareness that, suspects when arrested are to be handed over to the police or in its absence the traditional authorities.

If you take a cursory look at video clips of the many public brutalities of innocent people, most of the perpetrators are either in their thirties or below. Which means, they are products of the current educational system. The national curriculum has confined civic education and home knowledge to the garbage bin. When mere and ordinary teachers like some of us call for inclusion of civic education in our curriculum, no ear will pay heed. The society only listens to persons with lists of titles.

The untimely death of Major Maxwell Mahama Adam should be enough a lesson for us all. But, it should not be left, as usual, off the hook. Those idiotic imbeciles should be hunted down and brought to book. His killing was not only dastardly cruel but barbaric at the highest level. Look at how short his life is ended.

This was a bright and promising citizen of our land. But, Ghana, the nation he defended and fought for gave him out. What a wicked place to live. The people involved in this heinous cruelty have robbed the nation a precious gift of a personality that has no substitute and can never be traced. Put together the entire Upper Denkyira West District and tell how many second degree holders can be counted of.



Here was an individual with great prospects who was pursuing a Master of Science in Criminology, a discipline with a chasm in Ghana. How many criminologists can we boast off as a country, aside Prof. Ken Attefuah, Dr. Kwesi Anning and Mr. Alex Segbefia. There is no shreds of doubt that, this handsome gentleman was not going to be a perfect personality in that field taking into account, his military background, educational prowess and his amiable disposition. He was a loving husband and caring father. Yet his life was snappily stupidly snatched away from him.

The wife together with the family has not lost but Ghana has. Because, every well meaning and patriotic Ghanaian is pained to the marrow, the actions of these animalistic elements of our society. Tributes from his burial and memorial service have made me more than convinced that Major Maxwell Mahama Adam was by all standards a military personnel with different orientation. Those who unscrupulously joked with his death should by now bow their heads in shame.

The tributes showed how caring, loving and compassionate Major Maxwell Mahama Adam was to all. Who in the face of death by attackers will not use any possible weapon? He had a weapon that he could have taken the lives of his lynchers with him.

However, he wanted these stupid raging people to give him a listening ear, so he chose the path of compassion and protection. How many of us will not pull the trigger in the name of self defence in the same instance? Especially, when he had the means and in this regard, an expert in using that weapon. He showed them love but in return the people of Denkyira Obuasi reciprocated hatred which they will in due course pay for.

I strongly believe that, even on the day of judgment, when we will all stand before our maker - the Almighty, Major Maxwell Mahama Adam will still be compassionate and ask the good Lord to forgive his killers. But, until that day, they should face the full brunt of their deeds. I support the call for the trial of the offenders to be televised for all to see so that the public learns lessons.

For the fact that he is given a state burial clearly shows that he - Major Maxwell Mahama Adam has triumphed over these callous murderers. A grand funeral ceremony of befitting! He will forever be a national hero and a martyr. A golden spot in our minds and a glistening example to the youth of this country. Not many at his young age attained this higher heights. We pray for Allah's guidance and protection of his family most especially the widow, the two sons and the unborn baby.

I am however, gladden by the fact that, government and the security agencies are committed to get to the bottom of this case and exact appropriate punitive sanctions to all found guilty of his murder. Also, the trust fund set for his family with a seed money of Ghc 500,000 by president Akufo Addo is heart warming and great consolation.

It is also laudable the idea to immortalise him by erecting a statue or constructing a monument in his honour. I hope and pray that Major Maxwell Mahama Adam's gruesome murder would mark the beginning of an end to the mob 'justice' menace in Ghana. This should be the last ever to be occasioned in our society. And, it should be a 'spiritual bloodshed' to cleanse all future mob lynching and related killings.

I am also heartened by the tenacity and patriotism of the father. Upon the trauma, grief and loss, he had promised to take upon himself, the task to educate and create awareness in the public the need to stop mob or instant 'justice' of suspects. I entreat all, especially corporate entities to support his noble intentions in all aspects.

To the bereaved family, my condolences!

And to you, Major Maxwell Mahama Adam! My thoughts are with you! Rest in perfect peace.

Naa Gbewaah Sidiq's Folder!