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The Tamale Zombie Attack: Maintaining Law and Disorder

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The Ghana military, hitherto respected globally for its high standards of discipline and professionalism, is certainly making unsuitable headlines in recent times; following the series of reports of bloody attacks its members had visited on defenseless Ghanaians.

Even worse is the impression that they seem to be extending their excesses and blatant show of power to their colleagues in arms, the police.

The latest incident was last week’s bloody attack on police officers in Tamale, in which 8 police officers were hospitalized with various degrees of injuries.

The attack followed the arrest of Air Force Corporal, Eric Darko by the police to assist in investigations into an assault case.

Among the areas the rampaging soldiers attacked was the Northern Regional Police Commander’s bungalow, where they assaulted the policemen on duty and allegedly seized a rifle from one of the policemen.

They then descended on the ADB Bank Main Branch and beat up a policeman on duty to pulp.

So bad was the situation, according to reports, that over a hundred police officers within the metropolis abandoned their duty posts for fear of being attacked by armed soldiers.

The incident, though verbally condemned in many circles, is one time too many.

In March this year, there was a similar attack on the police by soldiers in Bolgatanga, where an officer with the Special Weapons and Tactics Unit was assaulted by soldiers for wearing military shorts.

In June, 2017, a uniformed police officer was brutally assaulted by soldiers at the Uadarra Barracks in Kumasi for using a thoroughfare at the barracks to the regional police command.

The Ghanaian Times also reported in December, 2016 that some 20 soldiers stormed the Kwesimintsim Police station in two military pick-ups, ransacked and vandalized the place, over the arrest of their colleagues.

The list could go on and on. What THE PUBLISHER, however, finds worrying is the way the outcomes of investigations into the crimes listed above seem to have been swept under the carpet.

We can’t agree any better with Retired Capt. Budu Koomson, who bluntly advocated that aside swift investigations into these cases, culprits involved should not go unpunished.

The retired soldier hit the nail on the head when he opined that “these incessant attacks will end if culprits are prosecuted”.

Even though the Northern Regional Minister, Hon. Salifu Saeed, has assured that heads will roll, his suggestion that the culprits would be transferred from the region is not biting enough.

Again, we see the Speaker’s invitation to the Ministers of Defence and Interior to come and brief Parliament on the Tamale attack as another solemn administrative ritual that will end up in smoke.

Ghanaians have over-entertained the excesses of the military, and THE PUBLISHER is of the view that letting soldiers understand that no one is above the law is one sure way of permanently bringing the unfortunate trend to a closure.

To end this culture of ‘law and disorder’ in the military, we think the only person who can do magic here is a strong and respected Chief of Defence Staff.

The ball is in your court, Lt. Gen. Obed Akwa.

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