Fadi Dobboussi’s recent sordid journalistic faux pas committed against the President of the Republic of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama was condemned by many social pundits. However, concerns were raised about the modus operandi of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI) who invited Fadi to interrogate him. Fadi has revealed the death threat he is receiving from some individuals in Ghana.
For example, “according to him the message sent to him read, ”Take this from me, look for me when you get to Achimota Kingsby Roundabout, grateful to let you know your status. A Lebanese dog like you will remain so and be tamed. St**** f**l.” (Source: ghanaweb.com, October 18, 2016). Begotten from a notorious womb, a lamb called “death threat” in Ghana must be a concern of all and sundry. The aim of this article is to reflect on the possible ways of dealing with an electronic message death threat in Ghana.
Out of his frustrations about the French political and social systems in the 18th century, the “philosophe’ Denis Diderot asserted that “man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.” Certainly Diderot was not happy about the French monarchy and the church concerning the social happenings of his era. We have leaders, pastors, public officers in Ghana and yet people continue to issue death threats with impunity. Serial murder is becoming a pattern in Ghana now. For example, in December, 2013, a staff of Stanbic Bank, Rosemond Nyampong was murdered in a cold blood. In March 2014, Fennec Okyere was murdered by unknown assailants.
On May 23, 2015, Mr. Adams Mahama, the Upper East regional chairman of NPP was murdered. On February 9, 2016, the member of parliament of Abuakwa North constituency, Mr J. B Danquah Adu was murdered. On June 28, 2007, Mr. Rokko Frimpong, the deputy managing director of the Ghana Commercial Bank was murdered by unknown assailants.
Death threat and serial killings are serious menace in our country. The urgent need to ferret out the causes of death threat and its attendant serial killings must not be shelved by all especially those in authority. Unemployment, corruption, excessive powers of the executive arm of government, lack of “policing the police”, individual’s stress level and emotional misgivings are some of the motivations for issuing death threat. From my novice opinion, I think the following suggestions will help in the fight against death threat in Ghana. We must broaden the legal definition of death threat with a strong legal backing. An appropriate anger or stress management interventions. A very strong legal collaboration between the police and telecommunication companies. For example, the police must quickly get the cell phone number of an individual being threatened and take it to the telecommunication service providing companies involved. The companies will then provide the location and the number of the individual who issued the threat whether hidden or not? The company, say, MTN, must provide some of the favorite contacts of the number, some of whom must be invited by the police. Then police must compel such individuals to call that number. If the number is registered then that should be easier for the law enforcement. The office of Inspector General of Police (IGP), BNI boss must be made independent of executive to enable the police and the BNI be bold enough to prosecute government officials who engage or instigate others to issue death threat. The court must be given powers to receive complains from the public concerning death threat. The court must also be empowered to carry out its special investigations with telecommunication service providers along with the police. The court then will invite the police officers dealing with the case to provide details of investigation. The court must be given quasi executive powers to “police the police”
Fellow countrymen, we must eradicate this nonsense called death threat from our country. If Ghana police service really want to arrest individuals who issue death threat, a simple collaboration with telecommunication companies will nip the menace of death threat in the bud. Serial killing and death threats are “UNGHANAIAN.” These political beasts issuing death threat must not be entertained in our country. God Bless Our Homeland Ghana. “I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing.” (Socrates).
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Nana Yaw Osei (Padigo) is a PhD Candidate in Psychology at Arizona, USA.
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