Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Mob action and the threat to societal cohesion

News Commentary condemns the recent mob action in Kumasi where a suspected female thief was subjected to inhumane treatment. The script is by Ruth Abla Adjorlolo, a Journalist.

Mother Ghana has once again been given a black eye, few months after the December 2016 general election.

The outcome of the polls enhanced Ghana's status as a leading democratic nation in Africa.

However, recent developments with regard to repugnant acts of vigilantism have shown the world that all is not well with our systems.

Ghanaians have a duty to project positive image for the country all times.

Instance justice reared its ugly head in Kumasi recently when a suspected female thief was subjected to inhumane treatment.

The young lady was brutally molested by a mob of men. She was stripped naked, beaten up and sexual molested in the full glare of the public.

The incident was filmed by someone who later publicised the videos through social media. How can some people be cruel and heartless.

This action cannot be justified under any circumstances.

In a democratic dispensation the rule of law reigns supreme. So the logical thing was to send the suspected thief to the police station.

How come she has to suffer such dehumanising treatment? Sad indeed! Whether Ghanaians have lost trust in the judicial system or not, democratic principles demand that suspects are taken through a trial process to prove their innocence or otherwise.

Even convicted criminals have rights, and there is no justification for what happened to the lady in the Kumasi incident. Many have tried to justify mob action or instant justice with the excuse that the judicial system is slow and corrupt.

Those who hold on to such view think,exacting instance justice on suspected criminals, especially those ‘caught in the act’ would deter others.

No matter how one looks at it, this is no excuse for people to take the law into their hands.

Lawlessness and wickedness move hand-in-hand, therefore, taking the law into one's hands would leave us with very wicked system where cruelty would become the order of the day.

The brutality in Kumasi also raises questions over the readiness of law enforcement agencies to really respond to the needs of the people when they are in danger.

Where was the Police during the attack on the alleged thief in Kumasi? Were attempts made to contact them? And how long did it take them to get to the scene of the incident? It is good and refreshing to hear that, many activists and concerned Ghanaians have condemned that shameful attack on the suspected thief.

The condemnation is a good start to addressing the issue.

Equally refreshing are reports that the Police have apprehended some twenty persons in connection with that unlawful act.

If the Police were to exact instant justice on these suspects in the name of stopping the act, can it be said to be right or wrong.

Ghana has come a long way from the days where people resorted to cruelty to settle matters.

The constitution of the land is very explicit on how to treat people who go against the laws of the country.

This incident should not be allowed to die a natural death.

Anyone who took part in it should be made to face the full rigours of the law to serve as a deterrent to people with such intent.

They must also be made to compensate the victim for disgracing her in public and publicly apologize to all women of Ghana for degrading womanhood. Instant justice has no place in Ghana and must not be allowed to take roots.

There is the need for public education on the need to uphold the rule of law and respect for the rights of every citizen, especially women and children who are vulnerable.

Every Ghanaian is entitled to their inalienable innate rights as human beings.

Let’s stop instant justice now and other actions which will dehumanise women and children now!!!

BY: Ruth Adjorlolo, Abla JOURNALIST.


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