The past few days have seen the media landscape dominated by discussions on the deportation of the three former -Police Offices from South Africa who were arrested while providing military training to youth in the Central region. The Lawyers have occupied all the space in the discourse. Some argue that the three South Africans should have been prosecuted. Others described the country's Judicial System as a failure since the three were not tried here. There is little discussion so far about holding accountable those who brought the three South Africans to the country in the first place. The inherent threat or potential threat of the activities of these former Police Officers to the peaceful co-existence of Ghanaians seem to have been relegated to the background with focus on the legal merits.
The public is being led to believe that a judicial process should have determined the issue. One is tempted to ask, is the legal system not about protecting the fundamental rights of Ghanaians and State which includes, safety, peace and well-being? Yes, Ghana is a Democratic State and the rule of law should be upheld at all times. As a people, we should appreciate the real harm that was brought unto Ghana regardless of all the justifications provided by the people who brought the South Africans to Ghana. That is the issue to be discussed.
There is the need to have the social courage to abhor such behavior and stop the polemics about the Justice system. Whether or not the three South Africans were prosecuted is less harmful to the people of Ghana. The bigger and much more pertinent issue is the danger posed to national security and peace in view of the military training the youth were undertaking .The militarization of these youth increases our vulnerability as a people in a volatile West African security environment. What is required is to acknowledge the harm that was done and avoid the mistakes in future. With the assurance from the Ghana Police Service to provide security protection to Presidential Candidates, should serve as a useful lesson for us as a people. Those who brought the three South Africa should take responsibility by acknowledging what is wrong and apologize to Ghanaians. They should stop justifying such unacceptable action. For those who choose to make commentary by comparing the presence of the former two Gitmo detainees in Ghana with the activities of the South Africans, it is the case of comparing apples with oranges. Under the arrangements that permitted the two Gitmo detainees into Ghana, the Security Agencies and Government will be held accountable if the two detainees were to renege on the terms that allowed them passage into Ghana. For the youth who were receiving the military training who we hold accountable, should they engage in activities that can undermine the peaceful coexistence of Ghanaians. Is it a Political Party or a Political Leader who should be held accountable for the behavior of civilian youth exposed to weapons handling ? This is enough food for thought.
BY: EMMANUEL BOMBANDE, A PEACE BUILDING PRACTITIONER.