You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2017 06 12Article 547106

Opinions of Monday, 12 June 2017

Columnist: Obrempong Yaw Ampofo

When the military passed the rarest test of democracy

For them, it’s obey before complain! And before you say jack, two jet speed slaps have already introduced a “logoligi” sound in your ears. You may be lucky if the flash alone doesn’t send your eyes into darkness!

Jack! I doff my cap to the Ghana military! Wow! You have exhibited a higher form of maturity in the face of such dastardly killing of Captain Maxwell Adam Mahama! Keep it up! Democracy is indeed expensive! In fact, for one of your captains, not just an officer, a captain, to be taken down dangerously like this by cruel civilians, and for the military to agree to use democratic procedures to seek justice, you guys are worth 21 gun salute!

The Chief of Defense, Staff Major General Obed Akwa’s name will go into the annals of history, for how diligent he has handled this dangerous and delicate brutality meted out to an army captain. To my fellow civilians, notice that this issue could have severely jeopardized the peace in the country!

At this point, with a “biiig” shout of “ahooo”, let the men in uniform respond “Ahoya!!! To the 2BN at Apremdo-Takorado, Ahooo!!!, Achiase Ahooo!!!, to the 5BN Ahooo!, to the Burma Men Ahooooo!!! And to all units, Ahooooo!

I listened to the uproar and anger some of you expressed at Burma Camp when the Chief of Defense Staff visited you shortly after the murder. I was not surprised, and indeed I believe many Ghanaians too were not. I believed some of you might have said to yourselves that, had it been days gone by, the perpetrators and the entire Denkyira Obuasi community might have been taught some hard lessons. Yes! You may be right, but that was then! I believe the United Nations has taken notice of your maturity!

Your conduct in this incident has sent a message of a new military. A 21st century military! 2017 presents a new dawn for you, let it stay. This is because over the years, some happenings in the country involving the military were not pleasant at all. In Takoradi, some military men dealt with police officers at the Apremdo Police Barrier. Others brutalized some motorists on a weekend at Takoradi Market Circle.

We know of the infamous Tamale brutality where three military men allegedly assaulted a 16-year-old Christopher Bam at the Airborne Force Barracks on Tuesday 19th April, 2016.

I remember when a single shot I captured during one of the National Sanitation Day exercises last year, ended up having my entire working photos on my phone’s gallery been deleted by the officers who were cleaning with us. I know some other people have had similar unpleasant encounters with the military.

These incidents, which led to the brutalities, are considered by some of us civilians as “normal”. Yet, the officers involved in those incidents didn’t take it kindly. They unleashed their military drills on us. These happenings made you appear bad in the eyes of the civilian world. Let it not happen again.

But let me add that, your conduct will be refined and complete if you desist from returning to Denkyira Obuasi. It has become a usual practice that some of you return to civilians who offend you. This case may be different because nearly fifty perpetrators of gruesome killing have been arrested already and are facing trial. These were some of the people we saw in the wicked videos that circulated, and the rest are been sort after. If you return to the community, you are likely to hurt innocent people. That will in itself mean another instant justice, which you might have thought returning to beat them will solve. This is democracy.

See this scenario: if meat in your soup gets missing and none of your children admits stealing it, will it not be proper to refer to your CCTV camera in the kitchen to know who stole it and penalize that child than to start beating all your five children?

Let the rule of law prevail. Before I end, I posted this question on social media to seek the views of the same Ghanaians you have sworn an oath to protect, and these are some of their responses for your perusal.