Kudos, National Security, But…

“Criminals should be punished, not fed pastries”

Lemony Snicket


WE READ ABOUT the middle aged Nigerian man who attempted to lure and kidnap a 4- year old boy on his way to school at Maamobi. We read about two persons who had abducted a nine-year old boy in a bush in Zuarungu; we read about the two friends who conspired and kidnapped a 14 year old boy at Ejisu and demanded a ransom of $3,000 from the boy’s parents: they were jailed 12 years by the Juaben Circuit court. Then the big one: the kidnap of Lauren Tilley and Bailey Chitty, the two Canadian ‘Youth Challenge’ volunteers of Toronto; the arrest of the kidnappers and their dispatch to Accra by a ‘copter; and the subsequent release of the Canadian girls to fly back home.

After reading all these and after listening to comments by the high and low in Ghanaian society, our minds roamed to neighboring Nigeria where in Chibok in Borno State, in April, 2014, 276 female students were kidnapped. Boko Haram claimed responsibility and the girls are supposed to be used as pawns in exchange for some of Boko Haram’s commanders in jail.

Then our minds carried us to the U.S. where Philip Gerado (58) aided by his wife kidnapped an 11-year old Jaycee Lee Dugard in June, 1991, and lived with her defiling and raping her repeatedly until the girl got impregnated and bore two girls by her abductor. Jaycee had adopted the name ‘Allissa’ and the children had never gone to school nor seen a doctor “They were kept in isolation” El Dorado County Sheriff Kollar stated, adding the children were “very shy and clingy to their father”.

Young Ghanaian radio commentators may not have heard or read about Al Scarface Capone, the U.S. gangster who ruled over a multi-million dollar empire in the 1920s and who engineered the 1929 Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre in Lincoln Park which left seven dead. They may not have heard about Adam Lanza (20), the recluse from Connecticut and the firing of 20 first graders and six educators at Newton’s Sandy Hook Elementary School in December, 2012.

Nor may our young radio commentators have been told of John Wayne Gacy who admitted to 45 murders, and whose last words on being executed at Stateville Correctional Centre in 1994 were: “Kiss my Ass”. Pardon them (the young radio commentators) for not having heard of Timothy Mc Veigh who detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred Murray Federal Building in Oklahoma City in April, 1995 that claimed the lives of 168 people, including 19 children. Don’t blame them ( the young radio commentators) if they had not come upon Jim Jones, the founder of the People’s Temple, who had fled California with his followers to Guyana and ruled the ranch with iron fist… till 909 of them, including 303 children died of cyanide poisoning. They claimed, in a note, not to have committed suicide. They had rather committed a “revolutionary suicide protesting the conditions of an inhumane world.”

The young radio commentators may have been toddlers when “9/11” September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre (WTC) left 2,996 dead and over 6,000 injured. The Islamist terrorist group, Al Qaeda, claimed responsibility for Flight 175 which crashed into the WTC in New York reducing it to “Ground Zero”, after the terrorists had hijacked the United Airlines and the American Airlines (which hit Pentagon).

We may not have access to the Global Peace Index (produced by the Institute for Economics and Peace); or, we may not trust its findings because the ‘research methodology’ may not be in sync with our own ideological position. So, we may not accept that Afghanistan (with the Talibans) that exhausts 47% of GDP on security, and where 3,804 civilians including 973 children were killed in one year alone (2018) is the world’s most dangerous country.

Syria, South Sudan, Yemen and Iraq follow in that order. Of course, Iceland, New Zealand, Portugal, Austria and Denmark are said to be the most peaceful countries in the world. But, note that Russia ranked 13th in the said rankings for the most dangerous countries in the world. In Africa, the rankings list South Sudan, Somalia, Central African Republic, Libya, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Nigeria, Mali, Cameroon, Chad, Egypt, Burundi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, South Africa Niger, Kenya, Guinea-Bissau, Togo, Cote d’lvoire Guinea, Mozambique, Morocco, Rwanda, Benin, within the 100 tagged as most dangerous countries in the world. Ghana is NOT among the lot.

Ex-President Mahama is not a young radio commentator. He is a former President who presided over the nation, including its security; he read History at Legon; it is our humble prayer to him not to jump into quick conclusions when things happen in Ghana. Where has the present government failed to guarantee the peace and safety of the citizens?  Sammy Gyamfi is advised to bide his time and grow in politics in Ghana: How helpful was the “… revelations about the identities of the suspects who have been arrested in connection with the kidnapping of the Canadian girls”? Ghana’s security is NOT “in complete shambles” under NPP.

As for Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo (NDC National Chairman) and the “leaked tape” we leave him to battle with his conscience. His hands may be “clean”; his heart may be “clean”; someone would ask: “what about his conscience?” We have not said anything prejudicial to the case. We are only commenting on his own story: “… for the past three months, pastors would call me and say pray because we have seen danger ahead of you… Recently, I prayed and cried and I asked ‘God if you knew this was going to be my lot why did you allow me to win this election?’But the Lord asked me to go back and read Exodus, and read what Moses went through and he told me that the Egyptians that you see today, tomorrow you will see them no more. I have the belief and confidence that the Almighty God we serve will redeem me and His name will be glorified”. Why did we not hear “Amen”?

Now, we, through the National Security (which of course includes all the security agencies-the police the army, BNI…) have succeeded in capturing the kidnappers of the Canadian girls. The girls are now home in their country. What else does anyone want?

It is our belief that before long, the Takoradi girls will be saved! Any“Amen”?

It is difficult to deal with people who have chosen to be deviants. They enjoy notoriety, and they are filled with sadism. They may not read the newspapers or books and they may not see what upright people see as right or wrong. They may not even bother to kill or be killed. They may appear to be innocent and decent, but underneath the hue, will be their true self.

We can succeed as a country if all of us accept to deal with criminals and deviants. Let us not give any political coloration. Crime is crime.

Africanus Owusu-Ansah