Gordon Offin-Amaniampong writes:
Have you ever tried to say something to 'feel good' but it backfired?
That appears to be the case of the unfolding story. Bernard Allotey Jacobs former NDC chairman, Central Region, claims he slapped a commercial bus driver on the Cape Coast-Accra road for overspeeding.
"I gave him a dirty slap," Allotey says.
His unsolicited claim made on Tuesday 26 March, has attracted huge backslash from a section of the Ghanaian populace.
However, I must point out, comments on Ghanaweb.com regarding his action varied. The majority of Allotey's critics called him a 'liar' and described his action 'unlawful'. Whereas some thanked him for slapping the driver.
Why unsolicited claim?
I say so because I don't think anybody had asked him to name an incident where one slapped a driver. Or whether there ever was a competition that required competitors to state how one slapped a recalcitrant or reckless driver.
Aside the claim, why must he even modify his slap with the word 'dirty'.A slap is a slap, hefty, dirty or slightly you could be charged for an assault if reported.
You now understand why I prefaced my intro with the phrase or term 'feel good.'
Simply he was caught up in the feel good syndrome, I suspect.
Allotey in a Dilemma
He seemingly finds himself at the crossroads. Mr. Jacobs has to choose either of the two unfavourable alternatives. But which one must he choose-- a lying Allotey or a violent Jacobs?
Must Allotey deny he slapped his supposed victim (the driver) and be called a liar?
Or must he admit he did it and be tagged a violent individual?
Needless to say, he who seeks trouble finds trouble. Soon we'd find out who is who.
Who did what? And why he did what he did.
So, in the beginning there was a slap. And the slap came from Allotey son of Jacobs. He was travelling from Cape Coast to Accra, on board a commercial bus.
Suddenly there was a violent storm which had ambled its way into the Accra-bound bus.
Apparently, the driver was overspeeding, as some passengers dozzed off. The ambience had lulled them to sleep.
But what they probably didn't realize was that they could all wake up in the ancestral world '(Asamando') with no limbs, no heads, and no butts. The driver was gambling with their precious lives.
However, Allotey was wild awake.
Seated at the rear he felt uneasy and worried as he could see danger approaching.
Something must be done immediately else they risk dying on the highway before their destination. And Allotey did something unthinkable.
He did what?
According to Allotey he called the driver to order. Did he (the driver) heed his call?
No, he said.
And what happened?
Opana decided to take the law into his own hands. Really?
Here him: " I was sitting at the back but I managed to come to the front and gave him a dirty slap. Though some passengers opposed it, it got him to slow down."
"It's unfortunate passengers are not united, they're divided everyone with his/her own mind but we shouldn't sit aloof," Allotey added.
Does he have the right to slap any one?
Good question. Indeed, he's no right whatsoever to slap the driver.
He could have been charged for assault if the driver had reported. But beyond that his impulsive action could have resulted an accident.
Is violence the way to go?
Violence must never be used as a means to get results. Instead, one can do these things to avoid accidents on our roads. So, whenever, you're on a bus whose driver is driving recklessly. Please don't take the law into your own hands, contact the police immediately, via police hotline.
Remember, if you see something say something. Maybe one person noticed that the driver was overspeeding and overtaking cars.
When s/he raises alarm the rest must support him. Your lives matter. Your lives are very important. Therefore, ask the driver to slow down and if the calls go unheeded ask the driver to stop.
Also, do not yell at a driver or approach him in a violent manner. It's a bad move.
Problem is, he could lose control and plunge the vehicle into a ditch.And you know what might happen. Not long ago, somewhere in China there was real case like this scenario.
A passenger attacked a bus driver while the vehicle was moving. Unfortunately, the driver vacated his seat and fought back. The bus plunged into a river from a bridge and not a single soul survived.
If he fails to heed the calls, l suggest all or the majority of the passengers must decide in unison to come down from the vehicle and demand their lorry fares immediately.
This action, I believe, could cause the driver to soften his stance.
Here are some of the comments I curled from Ghanaweb.com
"Allotey your action was criminal. It shows how ignorant a person you are! You should have brought in the police!," a critic writes.
"I gave a trotro driver a citizens arrest one day for over speeding to the annoyance of the passengers. I was a passenger and asked the driver to stop. I got out of the minibus and politely asked the driver to check something on the tyres.
I then informed him I was arresting him for overspeeding and read him his rights to remain silent on all that. All the passengers descended on me calling me all names. I then asked the driver if he'd a driving licence, which he said, oh no, my master fell unwell suddenly so he asked me to do the driving.
I couldn't believe what I heard, yet the passengers were hailing abuse at me. Only one person got out of the bus even when the guy confessed he was not qualified to drive.
This is Ghana alright," writes Osafo Kantanka.
"It's better to take the law into your own hands and give the driver hot slaps than to allow the driver to killed the people in the vehicle, " another comments.
"Hypocricy, dishonesty and indiscipline
Passengers always support drivers, we shall die more than that. It happens to me on numerous occasions and they called me being too-knowing, . We Ghanaians are hypocrites so at times I don't blame the police because we love it..?
"Is this man serious?
Is he proud of hitting a driver while the car was traveling at high speed? Did he realize he could have caused him to lose control of the vehicle and to get everyone on board killed? This irresponsible man is a leader..."
"The speeding is what's killing you people in Ghana. Am glad you slapped the hell out of him."
" I slapped a ‘trotro’ driver for over-speeding
stupid comments from a liar and lawlessman."
"You've no right to slap any driiver.Allotey, you're a loud-mouthed political clown."
Mr. Jacobs I hope you got the message right.
A word to the wise is enough.
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