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Opinions of Thursday, 8 June 2017

Columnist: Isaac Mensah-Boansi

The value of human life, the case of Maxwell Mahama

It has been 10 days since the supposedly unwarranted attack on, and the gruesome passing of yet another human being was reported on various platforms all over the country.

Social media platforms whatsapp and facebook have been in the lead, and a comfortable one at that, spreading graphic details of how an officer of the Ghana Army was lynched to his terrible end.

I have saved myself the misfortune of watching the recorded visuals of this dastardly and inhumane act that is being circulated around. But the descriptions in discussions at homes and offices and even on mass communication media have been vivid enough.

Needless to say that I need neither visuals nor an eloquent eyewitness version to appreciate the extent of evil and disregard for human life in Ghana. As a young boy growing up in the suburbs of Kumasi in the 90’s and early 2000’s, I witnessed at first hand the cruel beating, stoning, clubbing and sometimes burning to death of ‘supposed’ arm robbers and thieves.

My heart goes out to the family of the deceased, his wife and kids especially, and all who are genuinely affected by the death of this man. I am a father; and I cringe with fear and deep sorrow at the imagination of his death. What were his last thoughts?, a question I have been asking myself since…his kids, his family or his God? Did the excruciating pain of his unfortunate ordeal even give him the opportunity of such? I guess this will only be known to him and his maker.

I am praying that the real victims of this soldier’s death, his wife, children and immediate family will know who and where exactly their source of comfort and strength is…God!! I look around all over, on television, radio and social media, and I see the unfettered hypocrisy of the Ghanaian at full display. Those who will take this as an opportunity to be heard and seen, as well as those who will want to make unimaginable capital, financial or otherwise (real emphasis on the otherwise).The lines will definitely be blurred but I hope you are able to read in between and maintain your focus on your maker, the husband of the widow and father of the fatherless.

I understand a monument will be erected in the fallen soldier’s honor. Maybe the symbolism of such an act will be good, especially for the purposes of the popular Ghanaian cliché…Never again.

But the real monument, the real honor to this man’s memory will be the absolute renewal of our hearts and minds. That we skew our hearts and thinking to love, forgiveness and regard for human life. It is sad and unconscionable for anyone to think this is a problem with a particular sect of people, it is a Ghanaian problem. It is in our attitude, and has been with us for a very long time. This particular case is gaining traction definitely because of the person involved, there are hundreds and even thousands that have suffered similar fates and gone unmentioned.

Let us not behave as the ostrich fellow Ghanaians lest we give credence to the notion that morality is dead in our time. Let us learn to love and forgive…let us appreciate human life.

God bless our homeland Ghana.