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Opinions of Friday, 14 March 2014

Columnist: Oduro, Belinda Dentaa

Open Letter to Ghanaians

Dear People of Ghana,

I hope we all have heard about the Cal Bank Shooting. For those who haven't, and for non-Ghanaians who don't know what is happening in Ghana, and for those who have heard a twisted version fabricated by #GhanaPolice,

This account of the incident which happened on Saturday, March 8, 2014 was given by the victim.

For accurate reportage, which some Ghanaian media who have chosen to set the agenda for Ghana Police are not doing, I should include the story Ghana Police is telling (represent both sides of the story). Thing is, I cannot. Why? Because I don't know which story to upload. I have lost count of the different versions of the Ghana Police account of events since Sunday, March 9, 2014. The victim has moved from a suspected armed robber who struggled with the police officer over the officer's AK47, hence it misfiring, to a suspicious character who transacted no business in the bank, yet hang around the bank and caused the police officer to fire when confronted, to still a suspicious character transacting no business in the bank and the AK47 firing in the process of the officer handcuffing him. Yesterday, the Ghana Police story was the event was a "mishap" and that there had been "negligence and recklessness on the part of the policeman, leading to the unlawful cause of harm to the three innocent persons". Now, Ghana Police counts the victim among innocent people. The story of the victim has however remained the same.

Why should Ghanaians be concerned? After all, not all of us are foolhardy enough to return a policeman's slap even when the slap was unwarranted. Well, there were two other victims who were shot. These were innocent bystanders who were in the banking hall transacting business. Either of them could have lost their life. Either one of them could have been any one of us. Let us not forget that there is at least one armed policeman in front of every bank in Ghana. This could have happened in any bank.

To all Cal Bank customers, future customers and all Ghanaians, in all of this, the bank has issued one statement. telling Ghanaians to keep doing business with them and everything is safe in their banks despite what happened. Meanwhile, officials of the bank and workers of the bank were present when all this was going down and the bank has, and has watched their own CCTV footage of the incident. Cal Bank has seen and heard how Ghana Police have decided to report the incident and have said nothing. This incident involved their very own customer. It appears the bank is more concerned about business going on as usual in their banks than about their customer and the fact that three of their customers could have died due to the negligence of one Ghanaian policeman. The bank is ignoring the fact that the image of their customer is gradually being tarnished by the very same Ghana police that tried to kill him for no valid reason (do they even care about that). It would probably be better if time was taken to assure Ghanaians of the provision of bullet proof vests to Cal Bank customers ( by the bank. At least that would show some care and concern on their part.

Ghanaians and the rest of the world, let us open our eyes and see what Ghana police has done and has been trying to do. Let us open our eyes and see just how much a bank cares about its own customer.

Remember,"there may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but let there never be a time when we fail to protest".

Best regards,

Efua Dentaa.