Security Analyst, Dr. Emmanuel Kwesi Aning has expressed anxiety about the general acceptance and glorification of violence and mob justice among Ghanaians.
Dr. Aning is worried about the general belief by a section of Ghanaians that they will not be punished when they offend the laws.
His comments follow the widespread condemnation that has greeted a mob action by the youth in the Central Region town of Denkyira-Obuasi, who lynched the commander of a military detachment to the area claiming he was an armed robber.
The officer, Capt. Maxwell Adam Mahama, had gone for his usual early morning jogging when he met his untimely death. The police have announced five persons are in their grip but a key suspect, William Baah, the Assemblyman who is also said to have instigated the act, is still on the run.
Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show Wednesday, the Head of Faculty of Academic Affairs and Research (FAAR) of the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC) faults the law enforcement institutions which he said have failed to bring law breakers to book giving rise to an escalation in the incidents of mob justice in recent times.
“Violence has become a currency in our country for some time now and our ability to punish people who use violence as a currency to serve as a deterrence has been lagging,” Dr. Aninig told Kojo Yankson, host of the Show.
According to him, the gradual acceptance that people can break the laws and yet go unpunished “paints a very striking and bleak picture”.
However, the Security Analyst does not see a clear pathway to correcting this way of the Ghanaian thinking anytime soon because “if we cannot use the law to serve as a deterrence…this is what we see.”
“There is absolutely no clear pathway because, as a nation, we don’t see [violence] as an existential threat to us at all and therefore, we need to do something about. And that is why we have allowed all these threats against our institutions to go on”.
He feared the development “is causing true and real fear in our country”.
Contributing to the discussion, Anthropologist, Prof. Kodzo Gavua said he was saddened that Ghana has had to demonstrate her ugly side to the world at a time she is celebrating 60 years of Independence.
Prof. Gavua who is also Dean of the School of Arts at the University of Ghana, called for a social re-engineering “and see about how we enforce the law” because “we can’t be over and above the laws of our country”.
“I don’t think that it is just about attitudinal change but we must ensure that the laws work,” he insisted.
Prof. Kodzo Gavua
Psychologist, Nortey Dua could not fathom the apparent silence of elders and chiefs of the area, in providing information about the whereabouts of key suspects in the act.
The entire community has been deserted as residents have fled their homes for fear of being arrested.
But Nortey Dua said: “When we disown and identify these things as alien to our culture…then we are moving towards the social re-engineering that everybody is talking about.”
“Let’s hear the people [and chiefs] of Denkyira say that ‘we have evidence,” he admonished.
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