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Opinions of Saturday, 22 October 2016

Columnist: Okoampa-Ahoofe, Kwame

This act of savagery must be punished

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By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
English Department, SUNY-Nassau
Garden City, New York
October 15, 2016

Reports indicating that some residents of Krobonso, a town in the Kintampo-South District of the Brong-Ahafo Region, have roasted two suspected armed robbers alive must be roundly condemned (See “Angry Krobonso Residents Burn Suspected Armed Robbers Alive” / 10/14/16). Ours is a fast-evolving civilized nation and society and must be reckoned as such. In any civilized society pertains the rule of law, which means that once these criminal suspects were arrested by the citizens and residents of Krobonso, they ought to have been promptly handed over to the township police and arraigned before a legitimately constituted court of law.

I don’t know who or what this so-called Unit-Committee Chairman by the name of Mr. Kwadwo Appiah who, we are told, reported the incident to the media is, but it well appears to me that the next step towards tackling this perennial problem of vigilantism ought to be having the Krobonso police begin arresting and processing any township residents who are known and forensically identified as having participated in this inexcusably barbaric conflagration of the two suspected armed robbers for judicial arraignment and rigorous prosecution. It goes without saying that reports indicating that residents of the Krobonso township have been relentlessly subjected to a riotously rampant incidence of armed robberies and burglaries offer absolutely no legitimate justification for such wanton acts of vigilante barbarism.

What the so-called Unit-Committee Chairman needs to do in order to meaningfully facilitate the stemming of the alleged high crime wave in Krobonso, is to have township residents confer with the police and strategize on how best to deal with this veritable social menace. Now, reporting this equally revolting criminal incident after the fact, in the age of the cellphone, does not get us very far as a fledgling civilized democracy.

But what was even more painful for me was the realization that nearly two decades after the bloody and inexcusably barbaric so-called Rawlings-Tsikata Revolution, these patently benighted acts of wanton irrationality continue to dominate news headlines in Ghana. I hope this is not another open season of the sort of deliberately orchestrated acts of vigilante terrorism sicced on Ghanaians by the erstwhile Rawlings-led Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) and briefly before the latter, the so-called Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC).

If, as Mr. Appiah, the Krobonso Unit-Committee Chairman alleges, the roasted suspected armed robbers were tooling around in a Toyota Land Cruiser, a very expensive SUV and the vehicle of choice by many a Ghanaian politician, and also expensive by even American standards, then, very likely, these slain criminal suspects may well have been part of a larger well-organized criminal gang. But, unfortunately, we may never know this because even the identities of the “victims” have yet to be revealed, as of this press preparation, assuming that they were a known quantity in the community.

Needless to say, had they been handed over to the local police or law-enforcement agency, the identities of the slain suspects could have been promptly established. And if they were, indeed, part of a larger criminal ring, the source of their alleged acts of criminality could have been effectively rooted out. As it presently stands, should it turn out that, indeed, the “roasted” criminal suspects had been part of a much larger operation, all that the surviving members need to do to get business going is to simply modify their operational tactics and strategies.

Which simply means that there may be absolutely no end in sight for the sort of unacceptably high crime wave reportedly besieging the residents and citizens of the Krobonso township.

*Visit my blog at: Ghanaffairs

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