A Disgusting Action
Last Saturday Accra's sprawling suburb of Maamobi witnessed a destruction of property worth thousands of Ghana Cedis and above all, a near-lynching of a law enforcement officer.
The Marwako Restaurant, a local eating joint offering employment for many Ghanaians, lost so much to the marauding youth that we wonder when the place would be restored to its former status: the workers would definitely go home until normal production is restarted.
Taking place during the Ramadan month – a holy period during which Muslims are enjoined to lead a life of piousness – many were at a loss as to the misconduct of the youth, most of them faithful.
Descending upon the restaurant, looting and eating the food being vended – after breaking their fast – was an action so crude and mischievous that we can only condemn it and ask all with information that can lead to the apprehension of the hooligans to do so wholeheartedly.
An action started by a handful of undisciplined youth soon swelled to hundreds hungry for destruction and blood.
We are pleased that as carried elsewhere in this edition, the MP for the constituency, who is also a Minister of State, Mustapha Ahmed, chiefs and elders in the Ayawaso North have jointly taken exception to the act of vandalism which characterised the unruly action and vowed to pursue the culprits.
We have taken note of the assurance rendered by the elders and the MP to corporate organisations in the suburb that adequate measures would be taken to ensure the safety of their businesses.
This is an area now hosting various financial institutions as opposed to previous times when the place was dreaded so much that setting up banks there could not be imagined. Now that there has been a reversal of impressions and banks have pitched their businesses in the area, the damage caused by the mob action is regrettable.
We wish that the elders and the MP would walk their talk so that no such occurrence is recorded in the future. But before then the need to teach those behind the dastardly act a lesson cannot be overemphasised. Let us therefore see the elders and chiefs fish out the culprits through their local networks. That would give weight to their promise of ensuring that no such nonsense recurs in the future.
The neighbourhood watchdog committee concept, which used to be operative in this suburb, should be revived as noted by the MP for the constituency. Had that committee been operative, we are sure that fishing the criminals out would not have been a challenging task.
The spontaneity of the mob action speaks volumes about the state of the country's unemployed youth as aptly observed by Alhaji Bature Iddrisu, the publisher of the Al Hajj newspaper who suffered the vandalism of the rampaging youth.
The country is sitting on a time-bomb. The more graduates are being churned out into the streets, the closer we are getting to a point where these disgruntled youth would take to the streets.
Governments and policymakers should take note of this reality and seek ways of addressing them in a holistic and sustainable way to obviate trouble in the country.
The devil is on standby ready to engage the many idle hands as he did in Maamobi. Shouldn't we stop him, and now?
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