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04.04.2020 Article

Our Security Must Pass The Covid-19 Test

By David Sitsope Tamakloe
Our Security Must Pass The Covid-19 Test
LISTEN APR 4, 2020

Some of the people you are bullying, lashing and abusing on the streets work with the companies which are donating assorted items and money to the police and the military to feed you.

The salary you earn is made through taxes collected from the defenseless people you are happy whipping on the streets. Yes! Some work day and night, carry loads, work as trotro drivers, mechanics shop attendants and many other departments that support the fiscal and physical well-being of Ghana. But you are molesting them because you have the guns and the whips and a law you do not understand.

The deadly Coronavirus offers all of us a fine opportunity to write our name on the right side of history. It gives us a real chance to change the world around us, be impactful, inspirational and productive. As of now, we do not know how many of us may live to tell the story to the next possible generation: But if you do, they must remember that you made an effort to rescue others: not to abandon, to help others; not to hinder, to forgive; not to revenge and above all they must see us as heroes of ‘war’ not villains.

It is in this very spirit that our security personnel on duty, medics, paramedics and of course we the civilians must do our best to stand up and be counted and do so with the highest sense of responsibility.

We are in crises, yes all of us have been worked into this ‘Covid-19’ pandemic sadly and helplessly. The wanton disease has no cure yet and the most convincing solution proffered to stop its spread is social distancing, which makes staying at home the safest protection so far for all of us.

So why don’t we all stay at home until we hear coronavirus no more? Simply, we would die faster than the disease may take us naturally (right?). Hunger and deprivation of essential social amenities like food, water and healthcare could finish us and may turn even pastors into armed robbers. Indeed, that’s why in the wisdom of those who made the orders in the name of Restriction Act (passed some two weeks ago), essential service providers are exempted from the covid-19 partial lockdown announced by the president five days ago.

At the time of passing the law, Ghana was not at war with any country nor were we in civil war, hence security could not, in the ordinary sense be classified as essential. But in every society, particularly on our side of the planet, there has always been the need to enforce the law to maintain law and order: and this is why we needed the men in uniform (as you are referred to ) to help in combating the deadly disease.

In fact, no security personnel worth his salt would maltreat civilians and abuse them in a beastly manner as we have seen some of our brothers in uniform do.

Growing up, it was always a pleasure and pride to know someone in the army and who wears the military apparel. Indeed until recently, the military has been one of our most trusted public body if not the most. But the birds have whispered with clinical evidence that not only have some of our soldiers joined the army of indiscipline citizens but they have also developed a senseless pride which only serves to destroy the time-tested prestige and reverence the citizens accord our Soldiers. Some of them are begging for coins the same way our police are known for and some are taking advantage of Covid-19 to be convinced how rude, unprofessional and inhumane they are.

I must say that there are many, and I repeat a good number of our soldiers who have vindicated the honour and respect many Ghanaians have for the military. But a few others are fast destroying the reputation of our men in green and the earlier they are called to order, the better.

I have not forgotten the police who are busy using this unfortunate incident to enrich themselves. granted, I would only say that they are refusing to yield to the determination of the current respected IGP to wean the police service off the deadly ‘chobo’ disease.

Nonetheless, some of the police officers on duty during this covid operation have been exemplary.

To all our brothers and sisters in uniform, you have to understand that, the civilians are not your enemies. As a matter of fact, we have only one common enemy in this matter; the deadly Corana Virus which has brought in it’s wake wreck and destruction to families and homes here and abroad.

You must not lose focus on the enemy, less the battle would be lost. We are in this together. Much as there are many a Ghanaian who are flouting the restrictions law, you have to treat them with human face and within the tenets of the law. This is your call; a call to serve and save your fellow countrymen and women; not to maim and harm them, a call to demonstrate professionalism and utmost excellence; not to demonize your profession.

At all cost resist the temptation that would only leave you vulnerable to yourself and your fellow countrymen and women in terms of high self-esteem.

Let me seize the opportunity to extol the IGP and other service commanders who are observing the protocols of the services and not abusing people’s rights.

May I also take this opportunity to urge the government and service commanders to ensure officers and personnel on duty are properly identified with visible name tags and identification that could remind the recalcitrant ones of their duty to the public.

In times like this, real people show love to their fellow human beings, but people who do not have self-respect use such opportunities to demonstrate or prove they had best existed as animals.

To all Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians caught up in our land in this unfortunate historic time, I urge you to give every support possible to the men in uniform and all the people who are putting their lives on the line for all of us at this trying times. Do not provoke anyone as we are all at the tipping point right now.

Continue to report atrocities and excesses of the men in uniform to enable all of us be part of the correction.

To politicians who have been sleeping on the job and those who are secretly using this terrible situation to build war chest ahead of the next election, may God punish you and your descendants.

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