Occupy Ghana has been rattled with shock and indignation, the death, last Thursday 21st May, of Mr. Adams Mahama, the Upper East Region Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) at the hands of some persons under clearly criminal circumstances.
We send heartfelt condolences and deepest sympathies to the family, friends and associates of Mr. Adams Mahama and call on them as well as the entirety of Ghanaians to remain calm. In times like these, calmness, more than any other virtue is the best option to exercise.
In urging calm, we also wish to express our firm belief and conviction that the Ghana Police Service is doing everything possible to bring the perpetrators of that dastardly act to justice, to vindicate the nation and get justice for Mr. Adams Mahama.
We support the relevant authorities in their quest to identify all persons who are complicit in this crime and to bring them to book. In this direction, Occupy Ghana calls on all persons who may have any knowledge of the circumstances surrounding and leading to this loss of life, to step forward and pass on any such information to the appropriate authorities.
No person deserves to die in the manner Mr. Adams Mahama did and no person has the right to take another’s life in the circumstances Mr. Adams Mahama’s life was taken.
The origin of the fault line of physical violence in Ghana’s politics, no doubt, can be traced to British colonialist policies and practices, under which those who demanded independence were hounded, imprisoned and sometimes, killed. We recall the brutal murder of Sgt. Adjetey and 2 others on 28th February 1947, who were doing nothing but exercising their freedom of expression and right to demonstrate.
Unfortunately, with the advent of independence a more vicious form of political violence was to be introduced: the phenomenon of “machoism,” feeding on the unfortunate mentality that the only way to handle political differences is to visit physical violence on one’s opponents.
We also recall with regret the violence that attended Ghana’s politics of the immediate post-independence era and its dire repercussions and consequences on national cohesion. Many were unjustifiably imprisoned, and sometimes maimed or killed; some of the wounds of that era are yet to heal.
It is unfortunate that nearly six decades after independence, we are yet to fully rid our politics of machoism. Political parties have nurtured and fed this ‘beast’ and given it room to transmogrify and mutate into a clear and present national danger, the latest form of which is the unjustified attack that has resulted in the assassination of Mr. Adams Mahama.
On the contrary we see indiscipline and machoism increasingly taking the spearhead of political activism. Our airwaves and newspapers are replete with vitriolic language and unacceptably unpalatable reportage. People in office who are paid by taxpayers’ money find nothing wrong with engaging in mudslinging and very often rather insulting diatribes.
These reduce social cohesion and reinforce the fast increasing view that public office is being reduced to the preserve of incivilities; all in the name of what may seem as irrational partisan endorsements.
Occupy Ghana is fully convinced that our political parties, their members and followers have no justification nor is there the need to continue along a path of violence.
Occupy Ghana therefore takes this opportunity to demand of the leadership, members and supporters of all political parties in Ghana, assiduous work to eliminate and eschew all forms of violence and indiscipline in their intra- and inter-party engagements.
Politics is nothing more than a contest of ideas and tolerance of divergent views in spite of vigorous contests for control and leadership at various levels. Occupy Ghana commits to engaging with and working with the leadership of all political parties and groupings to develop and sustain workable programs aimed at stamping out violence in the activities of all such groups.
For the rest of us, the death of Mr. Adams Mahama if indeed truly occurred because of political instigation, should not be seen as just another “partisan” occurrence but rather a signal that our politics is at the cusp of a trajectory of self-destruction.
It is a criminal act that should be abhorred without reservation. We must all show a commitment to do away with all forms and manifestations of violence as a means of resolving differences. Our daily lives and work, and even politics might entail competition; but any competition that employs violence is not worth sustaining.
The death of Mr. Adams Mahama is murder, plain and simple, and ought to be treated as such. Those who seek to play politics with Mr. Adams Mahama’s death ought to know that the sensibilities of many, especially the family of the deceased is at stake. We mourn Mr. Adams Mahama and pray that his death will be the last of such in our nation’s politics.