Editorial: Two wrongs do not make right!
In the early hours of Tuesday, our online portal, thechronicle.com.gh, published that scores of soldiers went berserk at Ashaiman Official Town and brutalised residents, motorists and commuters they could pounce on.
The report, which is still on our website, said the actions by the soldiers were to avenge the murder of their young colleague, Trooper Imoro Sheriff, by unknown irate of the community in the wee hours of Saturday, March 4.
A victim, Michael Amegbletor, 47, according to our online report, sustained injuries on his head and was reportedly rushed to a hospital.
Several workers returned home on Tuesday morning as they feared being brutalised by the soldiers who were taking revenge for the murder of their colleague.
Videos all over social media contained repugnant scenes of the deceased in cold blood, and the actions of the soldiers.
Yesterday’s report of the brutality was an update on an earlier publication we carried in our Tuesday edition. We had reported that the soldier, Trooper Imoro Sheriff, of the 154 Armoured Reece Regiment in Sunyani’s lifeless body was found lying in a pool of blood, with his military packs containing a tablet. It is not clear what might be motive of the killers.
We learnt from the Member of Parliament for Ashaiman, Ernest Norgbey through a publication by myjoyonline that 72 persons, per the briefing given him, had been arrested by the soldiers.
The MP said the soldiers after the dawn operation left the area, but around midday, another batch of military men had trooped into the Ashaiman constituency.
The Ashaiman incident, sadly, adds to the Denkyiraboase barbaric murder of late Major Mahama, whose only crime was to protect the community against illegal mining.
We heard the news of how the community pounced on him one morning, hit him with stones, and eventually set him ablaze. The family still awaits justice, as the court is yet to complete the trial.
It would also be recalled that two police officers were killed and set ablaze by suspected armed robbers in Zuarungu, in the Bolgatanga East District.
We condemn unequivocally, unprovoked attacks on personnel of the security service, who have dedicated their lives to protecting us the civilians.
We hold the undeniable view that an attack on a service personnel is an assault on the entire security apparatus of the nation. Perhaps, this logic explains their reaction to such incident.
As a nation, it would be detrimental to reach the point where some citizens would feel empowered that they can stand up to the security agencies at the least opportunity. Such development would breed chaos in the country.
Citizens must understand the importance of the security services, and appreciate the very few who risk their lives to ensure we are safe. Such people must not be harmed. Simply put, the public must respect men and women in the security attire.
This can be done through educating the communities about the work of the security services, and in this regard, elders of the various communities would be useful to the cause. This exercise could diffuse any tension between the civilians and the security services, while instilling confidence in both.
That said the security services must also thread cautiously, lest the civilians became used to their modus operandi. We should not lose sight of the essence of rule of law in such situations, as two wrongs do not make a right.
The days of military brutality, we thought, was long gone, as there are lawful processes in such situations. They say that no one is above the law.
We as newspaper firm, do not for once portray ourselves as security experts, suffice it to say that we are also not oblivious of the top notch defence intelligence in the security services.
Having that knowledge, we only hope that the military high command, has gathered some intelligence and probably narrowing it down to apprehend the murderers.
If that is the case, then, why should innocent citizens be beaten for the crime of another, who probably may have fled the community after the act?
Without justifying the murder as we have already expressed in this Editorial, we also do not subscribe to innocent civilians suffering the brute of livid soldiers to appease the inhumane murder of a colleague.
As usual, we may not know whether the Ashaiman operation was authorized. But, it begs the question how soldiers could move to a community fully armed with a helicopter flying, without the approval of a high command. However, that could be a topic for another forum.
For us at The Chronicle, we think that attacks on security personnel should not be entertain, and the usual brutality meted out to the community by the affected service should also end.