Salifu Amankwah was in charge of keeping Accra’s Nkrumah Circle clean and orderly, and he was allowed to beat people, inflict instant punishment, etc. Folks just looked at how orderly the place was and kept quiet whilst he practiced that nonsense.
Then one day he assaulted someone he accused of breaching his rules, and the person DIED. He was killed for throwing litter or jaywalking or something as trivial as that. Someone’s dad. Someone’s son. Someone’s husband. Someone’s brother. Someone’s friend.
Today the crass indiscipline at Madina Zongo Junction is being tackled. Great move. But what is being done to offenders? If what I’m reading from social media and the pictures and videos I’m seeing is true, it is pure lawlessness being used to fight lawlessness. People are made to kneel down, squat, sweep, etc by the police and the task force.
This is a total affront to the rule of law and democracy we always claim we are practicing and like.
We are a people always spurred on by populism, radicalism, instant justice, etc. We are easily excited. We hardly stop to THINK and REASON about possible outcomes of what we do and cheer on.
So let a soldier take a gun and stage a coup and you will hear “we no go sit down make them cheat us every day” and “let the blood flow”. We will urge that coupists on to kill and maim and ransack. Later when the silly frenzy is over and we see the repercussions, we turn around to pontificate.
If we are a civilized country with educated people and thinkers, we should enact laws that will deal with such minor infractions like jaywalking, littering, etc, like instant fines. If we feel cleaning gutters, weeding, picking litter, etc are the way to go let’s get the appropriate laws enacted to make such instant punishment legal, lawful, and codified. It should not be left in the hands of people who have no mandate to punish, whilst we look on smiling sheepishly.
For goodness sake think of how much money local authorities can even raise daily with say 20 Cedis to 200 Cedis fines for such offenses, duly sanctioned and effected by people legally mandated to do so. Folks you expect better from will not advocate for these but urge the police on to mete out instant justice.
In some countries I have visited, when you jaywalk, the police unit mandated to do so will call you and respectfully tell you your offense and sometimes even show you a video of you committing the crime on their handheld cameras. You are then given a stipulated fine and given a receipt like that of a POS machine. If you don’t have money on you, your national ID (like the Ghana card) is scanned and billed and you will have to settle the fine within a stipulated time before you can access certain services.
But no. In Ghana, people are salivating over policemen and city guards lashing citizens and giving them corporal punishment. That seems to be the Popular thing and people are happy. That is how it goes.
We can’t be blowing hot and cold. We must decide what we want. We have decided on the rule of law and democracy. Democracy is huge enough to have answers to these issues. Within that same democracy and R.O.L., we can find ways and means of dealing with such minor infractions that don’t necessarily subject people’s dignity to the whims and caprices of folks not mandated to exact punishment
The majority of you can hail it, but I WON’T.