We wish to express our gratitude to all those who contributed towards the restoration of normalcy to Old Tafo in Kumasi after the bloody riotous conduct of the youth in this segment of the Ashanti Regional capital.
The police and the military especially must be patted on the back for their swift reaction even in the face of challenges they encountered during the mission.
The nonagenarian National Chief Imam took a trip to Old Tafo to engage with the people, especially Muslims, with a view to restoring peace, for which we doff our hats. His admonitions were powerful, especially when he told his audience that as Ghanaians we should appreciate the importance of peace, having had the rare opportunity of witnessing what turmoil is when the youth took the law into their own hands.
We shudder, however, to think that all the suspects arrested in connection with the riots have been let off the hook. Information we have gleaned from Old Tafo suggests that as part of the reconciliation package the suspects have been released upon the direction of a politician, which should be condemned by whoever cherishes discipline especially among the youth of this country.
We understand that this has not gone down well with the law enforcement agents who were in the thick of affairs during the upheaval. But who would be happy about the turn of events, given the quantum of destruction and level of impunity?
The suspects, in view of the gravity of their criminality, should have been charged and arraigned. We are terribly disappointed that the laws of the land are being handled at the whims and caprices of persons who consider the abuse of power as a term of reference of their appointments. How sad for a country seeking to grow!
We are in an election year and those involved in the mayhem think that the membership of a particular political grouping should spare them the long arm of the law. Unsurprisingly, that is exactly what has happened, much to the disappointment of the law enforcement agents who risked their lives to bring the nonsense under control.
Letting the suspects off the hook is an opportunity for a re-enacting of the criminality elsewhere in the country, especially the flashpoints. After all, turning to the authorities to order their release from police cells is a template in vogue.
With instances of unruliness across the country almost commonplace, the need to allow the law to rule without interruption from political figures cannot be overemphasised.
We have learnt regrettably that the release of the suspects was more about political expediency than a quest for reconciliation.
That government is being urged to expend money as compensation for those who lost their valuables when those responsible for the loss have been acquitted and discharged outside courtrooms. This is not only criminal, but a parlous precedence which all well-meaning Ghanaians stand up against.