The Sowing Of Dragon's Teeth
5/16/2012 2:02:13 PM -
In Greek mythology, 'dragon's teeth' features prominently in the legend of the Phoenician prince called Cadmus and Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece. 'Dragon's teeth', once planted, will grow into fully armed warriors. According to Greek mythology, Cadmus was the bringer of literacy and civilization. He killed the sacred dragon that guarded the spring of Ares. The goddess Athena told him to sow the teeth, from which sprang, a group of ferocious warriors called the Spartoi. Cadmus threw a precious jewel into the midst of the ferocious warriors, who turned on each other in an attempt to seize the precious jewel for themselves. The five survivors joined Cadmus to found the city of Thebes. The classical legends of Cadmus and Jason have given rise to the phrase 'to sow the dragon's teeth'. 'Sowing the dragon's teeth' is today used as a metaphor to refer to doing something that has the effect of fomenting disputes and troubles. Legalistic purists call it 'the law of unintended consequences'. Confused? Wait a moment while I refill my Parker's fountain pen with more ink.
The just-ended biometric registration exercise has revealed how the NDC foot-soldiers planted the dragon's teeth, from which a group of ferocious warriors will spring in the run-up to the general elections. The party secretly armed the foot-soldiers across the length and breadth of the country with machetes to cause mayhem, and they did it in a grand style. From Agbogbloshie to Odododiodioo, Techiman to Tamale and beyond, these hoodlums were on rampage openly, while the police watched helplessly because they had 'orders from above' not to take action or even arrest these criminals. I was therefore not surprised when Agyenim Boateng, the Deputy Minister of Mis-information, told the world that the pictures of machete-wielding hoodlums flashed by the DAILY GUIDE were that of a scene in Rwanda. Indeed, only in Rwanda did we see such a scene when the genocide started. Now that it has become crystal clear that the action of the hoodlums happened at Odododiodioo, the NDC has brought Rwanda to Ghana. Who ever thought that such a scene could be seen in God's own country? And the man who is at the helm of affairs calls himself 'Asomdweehene'. This, to me, is a dress reversal of greater things to come.
I had cause to write in this column sometime ago that the people of the United States of America did not wake up one morning to see people with pistols in holsters hanging around their waists. It started like what is happening in Ghana today. The cowboy from Texas had to arm himself because there were some other cowboys who used to bully him, simply because they were in possession of pistols. From what we saw during the registration exercise, people are going to go for arms to protect themselves. And we should not hesitate to accept the fact that when people start arming themselves, gunrunners will have a field day since that is where they get their bread. Already it is an open secret that several blacksmith workshops are sprouting in some areas in the country. When the Abudus and Andanis started arming themselves, we looked on unconcerned until that fateful day when the war started, led to the death of the Overlord of Dagbon, Ya Naa Yakubu Andani. Similarly, when the Dagombas and the Konkombas started arming themselves, we saw it as their own business until war broke out. Then we started counting the cost as if counting the cost was the panacea. In fact, we always treat the symptoms rather than the causes.
This country is sitting on tenterhooks yet we pretend all is well. If we rely on the police to keep the peace before, during and after the general elections, we will laugh at the wrong side of our mouth. It is an undeniable fact that the Ghana Police Service personnel have compromised their stance as an impartial security outfit which is supposed to favour no one person against the other. Reports from Techiman during the biometric registration exercise indicated that those who were butchered by NDC hoodlums during the registration exercise were treated like second class citizens. You are turned away with your blood-stained clothes when you rush to report to the police. In some cases, the police rather asked those who were butchered to arrest and bring to the police station the culprits who committed the offence. How stupid! The municipal BNI boss who was accused of being on the side of NPP supporters who were at the receiving end has since been transferred. When people are denied justice, they take the law into their own hands. Do you think supporters of the NPP in Techiman will turn the other cheek on the day of voting, come December? That is my fear because it could be nationwide.
When I looked into my crystal ball, I could see machomen from the NDC and NPP flexing their muscles at polling stations while the security men stand aside, afraid to take control. I could see the Special Forces trying to intimidate supporters of the NPP to no avail while the 'all die be die' mantra is put to test. I could also see machomen snatching ballot boxes while voters run for dear life. You may call me a pessimist or a prophet of doom but remember, anything can happen when the market is going to an end.
To prevent this calamity from befalling the good people of this country, there is the need for the president to apply the sanctions whenever necessary. The president should be seen acting rather than talking. He always says he took over a peaceful country and as such he was going to leave behind a peaceful country. That is fine. But what is he doing to stop the police from being bias and tilting their weight behind the NDC which he leads? And when the man is asked to act, he tells us that he is not a policeman. And yet he calls himself the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces. If a Commander-in-Chief cannot control his forces, then what is he the Commander-in-Chief for - Ceremonial occasions?
One person who is taking our security for granted is the Chief Constable, Mr. Paul Tawiah Quaye. The Inspector General of Police has failed in all aspects of maintaining law and order in the country. Take the issue of armed robbery for example. Immediately he was appointed to that position, he set out to order his men and women in uniform to shoot to kill on sight any suspected armed robber. True to that, several suspected armed robbers were mercilessly mowed down. Some of us were quick to suggest that to curb the menace, mowing them down will not solve the problem. I had cause to suggest that there was the need to shoot to demobilize these miscreants, arrest and debrief them in order to know their modus operandi and their sources of acquiring the sophisticated weapons they use. The sages say when you see red ants coming from a cracked wall, you don't spend your time killing them one after the other. You rather go behind the cracked wall to see where they are coming from. If you realize that they are around a dead cockroach, you simply pick the cockroach and that would be the end of the whole issue of killing ants. If Paul Tawiah Quaye thinks sending his men with arms on a killing spree will solve the problem, then I am sorry he will never succeed.
As it stands now, the promise the president gave Ghanaians when he was being sworn into office has hit the rocks. The president told us that from the day he was being sworn in, Ghanaians would go to bed without fear of being attacked by armed robbers. Prior to that, he had used the issue of armed robbery to campaign vigorously, telling us then that the NPP government had lost the war against armed robbers and that when he got the nod, the issue of armed robbery would be a thing of the past. Four years into the regime of the law professor, the armed robbers have become more daring than ever. They even disarm policemen and attack at random with impunity. Sadly, all what the Chief Constable can do is to call a press conference to assure Ghanaians that all is well. As for me, I always say my last prayer before going to bed, with fear written boldly inside my heart; fear that maybe I would be the next victim of armed robbery. I don't trust Mills and his Tawiah Quaye. They are two of a kind: Accomplished failures!!!
From Eric Bawah