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30.05.2017 Feature Article

Open Letter To Vim Lady Afia Pokuaa And Naasei Ampofo Adjei

Vim Lady Afia Pokuaa
LISTEN MAY 30, 2017
Vim Lady Afia Pokuaa

Hi Afia and Nana, I wish to let you know that I have been a loyal listener of your midday news for years, and not a day goes by without tuning in to Adom fm to listen to you and captain Smart and often times kaba. However, I would like to draw the attention of both of you to the fact that your report on the lynching of the military personnel in the Denkyira area on 30/05/2017 during your midday news was too emotional and judgmental. You allowed your emotions and your hurts overcome your objectivity as news castors. I am not here to judge any of you, after all, who am I to judge you, but to draw your attention to your core principle of objectivity and balanced news reportage.

Afia and Nana, in as much as I agree with you that the death of the officer was quite unfortunate and painful, blaming the town folks and crucifying them like the Romans crucified Christ Jesus was not right and premature without knowing all the circumstances that led to the lynching.

Afia, consider what would have happened if the same circumstance that led to the man’s death had happened in your hometown of Jakobu or my hometown of Agogo Ashanti Akim, I bet you that the same results could have happened. Just imagine that in this day of high levels of armed robbery and highway robbery, you are there, in your own environment and around 8:30 a.m., a stranger that nobody in your vicinity had ever sighted in the locality, come asking for direction and you realize that the man is carrying a pistol, what would come to your mind? Let us all be realistic here. The only thing that will come to your mind is that, this guy must be part of a robbery team somewhere close by who was probably being pursued and had managed to run away from his chasers and found himself in your neighborhood. I definitely would have thought that and I believe you would do the same.

Afia and Nana, I believe that you would argue that, they should have arrested him and send him to the police station which of course is the normal thing to do given a normal situation in a normal society, but you and I know that, our society is not normal and there is nothing normal in Ghana. Our laws do not work and if they work at all, they work in the case of a poor person and not rich people. Sometime ago in Kumasi, when people caught a pickpocket or any thief for that matter and they sent him to the police station, the police would put the suspect behind the counter (counterback as it is commonly known) and as soon as the mob dies down, they would release the suspect to go in a different direction. This went on until the people realized that it was useless to send a suspected thief to the police, and so they the people started putting the law into their own hands by giving instance justice to suspected thieves by severe beating and possible lynching.

Even if robbery case ends up in court, unless it is a high profile case like that of Ataa Ayi, the case will drag on and on for years and in the end, the suspect may be set free because witnesses would be fed up going to court only for the case to be adjourned. This is your Ghana and my Ghana. Afia, look at your own simple assault case that went to court, I do not know if you have secured judgment yet or not, but look at how long it took to get justice!!. We all know that justice delayed is justice denied and in Ghana, there is no justice for the ordinary man. By the way, Afia, do you know that in Ghana, if you arrest a thief and send him/her to the police station, the police expect you the victim to feed the suspect whiles in police custody? This happens only in Ghana. Ama Ghana as we call her.

Afia, I think you and Nana will agree with me that, if those who lynched the officer knew him before or even believed him when he said he was a soldier, they would not have laid a finger on him, yet they never knew him in the area and did not buy his military story because armed robbers often carry themselves as military personnel. So instead of chastising the people as you did for the mistake they made, I would rather condemn the rot in our society and our inability to fight the armed robbery phenomena that is endangering our society. Anytime I come to Ghana, I sleep with a gun under my pillow. Why should this happen? And it is happening because the police and others can no longer protect us so we need to protect ourselves. This is why Ghana is fast becoming a gun loving society.

I feel sorry for the mistake the town folks made and I sympathize with the bereaved family of the military man who was lynched. As it is often said, may his soul rest in perfect peace. As a victim of armed robbery myself, I support instant justice one hundred percent, even though, I agree that it is possible for things to go wrong as it has been in the officer’s case, yet it is the best way of securing justice in a failing state where justice is sold to the highest bidder in the market for justice.

In conclusion, even though the town folks have shed innocent blood, I hope and pray that, the officer’s death may be the needed catalyst that would cause both the police and the army to wake up and fight the armed robbery that is getting out of hands in Ghana otherwise this officer’s death is not going to be the last to occur in the masses attempt to defend themselves. Once again, in the midst of a tragedy like this, we should not sacrifice objectivity for emotions and sensationalism.

God bless both of you for the good job you are doing for mother Ghana.

God loves you and I love you as well.
Benjamin O.Agyepong

Benjamin Opoku Agyepong
Benjamin Opoku Agyepong, © 2017

The author has 58 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: BenjaminOpokuAgyepong

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not neccessarily reflect those of Modern Ghana. Modern Ghana will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."

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