Government took Ghanaians for a joke

General News of Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Source: Amarh, Richard Nii


The use of force against citizens of any state is an act against civility
and rule of law. This has been condemned by many leaders and peace loving
authorities. In the kindest of words, the act by the military on the 6th of
march could be described as barbaric, uncivilised, brutish, ill-bred,
mannerless and unrefined. It was highly unexpected, that in todays
constitutionally democratic Ghana, some military men could think of such an
act and commit it with impunity. More so this had to take place on the 6th
of March when we were assembled as a nation to reminisce on our declared
independence some 56 years ago. This was and continues to be certainly a
smack in the face of the independence celebration.

About two decades ago, children used to argue about who is the the
strongest. Military and Police. We always admired the men in uniform and we
always wondered who amongst the police and the military was the strongest.
Our perceptions were that once you get into the uniform, you are given the
right to do whatever pleases you and that you could not be questioned on
what you did. At the sight of a police or military officer in the vicinity,
we would all run to a distance before we dare look at them and comment. Of
course such erroneous perception had existed because the nation was just
coming out of a military regime that had been brutish and left marks of
fear on a considerable section of the general public. Those were times
where people lived in the fear of facing unknown excruciating torture,
should they be seen or suspected to have spoken the military government.

Today Ghana has grown to understand that the military and police are to
work within the legal frame work of the country. Ghana is believed to be
one of the best in Africa in terms of human rights protection, yet one
would wonder if this perception will not be erased with laser speed once
the international community views the picture of the soldier slapping the
journalist on 6th March 2013 and juxtapose it with the response of
government and the military Administrations fake investigation into the

One can best describe the way the government has reacted to this issue as
evidence of lack of commitment to the principles of Human right. I wonder
if Nana Oye Litor has not heard of this matter.
As usual, the NDC government lead by Mr. John Mahamma and his team thought
that they could use propaganda to cover such a sensitive matter. How could
they have asked the military to investigate this matter when the matter
involved the military. Where is the National Security and Why have they not
been invited to investigate this matter. Do you expect the Military
officers to come and tell us that one of their own went against the law?

If this act had been committed by a political opponent of the Mahamm
administration, the alacrity with which the BNI would have moved to arrest
such a person or persons would have been so wonderful. It is so surprising
that such a matter that carries so much in terms of the image and
credibility of the country has been mishandled by the Government and the
security agencies. This is a very big shame to the government and the

Since this matter involves an assault by another citizen of the country on
another, I challenge the IGP to step in and cause an independent
investigation into the matter. Military men are not above the laws of Ghana
and if a military man has assaulted a journalist, he must be dealt with
according to the laws of Ghana.

In this age and time in Ghana, if we allow some unscrupulous young men who
have had the benefit of being in state purchased uniform to take the laws
into their hands and do whatever they like, then we shall be referred to as
Uncircumcised philistines, barbaric, uncivilised, brutish, ill-bred,
mannerless and unrefined people. In this case what will our leader be
called. Your guess is as good as mine.

Now to our brothers and sisters in the ink fraternity, this is not to mock
at the affected persons, but I think I may not be wrong if i said it serves
you right. This is not the first time this has happened in Ghana. The
Police and the Military have been abusive and brutal in their relations to
many people in this country on daily basis. Who spoke for them? When it
happened to the two media men, we can now hear from you on the matter. I
wish to say, the what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If the
media thinks that police and military brutalities are wrong, we expect you
to be better watch dogs than you are now. If a free society, cannot be free
for the many who are poor, then it cannot be free for the few who are rich
and powerful too.

Lets all speak against intimidation and lawlessness.


Richard Nii Amarh
Member, PPP Communication Team