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Opinions of Saturday, 10 March 2018

Columnist: Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

State sponsored violence is not the solution!

Has violence now taken over the voice of reason in our country? Yesterday, they struck at the very heart of Ghana’s legal system. In broad daylight, they stormed a courtroom in Kumasi and unleashed mayhem upon a sitting Judge. Next in line was a senior police officer at the seat of power.

They made him taste of their brute force, whilst our new President and his henchmen looked on. Even innocent toll collectors were not spared the wrath of these party-sponsored terrorists.

In the face of these unwarranted and unlawful acts of violence, many Ghanaians proved to be rather very considerate. In our usual magnanimous nature, we put it down to the bad behavior of an over excited band of party foot soldiers who would soon pipe down.

They did not pipe down. Unfortunately! More than one year down the line, under the watch of the proponents of the Rule of Law, the bloodletting has rather been sharply ramped up. Many state institutions have tasted the brute force of these lawless party hoodlums.

The latest casualty being my own home region, the Upper West Region where another nameless wing of the ruling NPP Party recently shook the foundations of a usually peaceful region and unleashed terror on poor workers of the regional NADMO.

How could “things fall apart” so soon under the patronage of the one man we trusted to maintain the peaceful Ghana that was handed over to him only yesterday? Is it not a painful irony of fate that this seeming national distribution of terror and mayhem is happening under the watchful eyes of one of our most distinguished and much vaunted former Human Rights Lawyer, now turned President of our dear nation, Ghana?

Of worrying concern is the spectre of state-sponsored terror, an example of which occurred last week when an armed military unit raided and burnt down fourteen tipper trucks and an excavator belonging to residents of Dalun in the Kumbungu district in the Northern region. At the risk of seeming to condone indiscipline, some of us believe without a doubt that the laws of the land must always be given a chance to work as a first line of action; the use of force coming in only after all the available legal channels have been exhausted.

This is what happens in all civilized societies. State-sponsored brutality cannot, and must not be applied on a people who are currently grappling with rising levels of unemployment and excruciating poverty. If you cannot guarantee them employment, do not destroy their livelihoods with methods that belong to the Stone Age!

Enough has been said and written against the sudden spate of armed robbery and thievery which is now sweeping across the length and breadth of our country. We lament the many precious lives that have been spinelessly cut out in these many cases of brutal armed gangsterism in our country.

We are calling on the good people of our country to rise up and join us in condemning in no uncertain terms the seeming impotence of President Nana Addo and his indolent henchmen as the security situation in our country goes from bad to worse.

Source: Hon. Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin

MP Nadowli/Kaleo Constituency and Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament