Thursday, 16 May 2013

Mark Woyongo: Defence Minister defending himself

I take time out of my busy revision schedule to ask one thing? Mark Woyongo, what makes him qualified for his position?

I rarely feel the urge to side with Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings, but to be honest she can take his job since she clearly has more insight on it than he does.

In this audio (make sure you've enabled windows media player on your browser) he is challenged as to whether Ghana or at least the Ashanti region has suffered a break down of law and order. This guy doesn't think that the recent deaths in Kumasi is a sign of a break down of law and order. He doesn't think that the continuation of lynching of suspected thieves without fair trial and beyond the punishment prescribed by the law is a breakdown. The fact that the people don't trust the police to come, to arrest, to hold and to prosecute is apparently not a break down of law and order. The fact that people MURDER other people and don't live in fear of repercussions by the state is apparently not a break down of law and order. My God, if this is not yet a breakdown should we wait to see what is?

How many incidents of gun crime from nationals and foreigners must we see before we believe that the authority of law and order in Ghana has been disregarded by the people and their visitors. Take any news agency domestic and international, point them in the direction of any road leading from Accra and I promise you it would not be far until they find illegal immigrants wielding weapons, violating the law, undermining the local workforce, threatening local lives just to make a profit.

The other day trucks overturned on the Achimota road and the police couldn't even orchestrate the rescue mission. Local civilians did it. 2 people died. They might not have died if they had been responded to quicker but they weren't because the people waited for the police to do their job and only acted when it was clear the police were not going to.

What is hilarious is that  people like him don't want the country to move forward. His first defence is that "these events or things of that nature have been happening for a very looooong time now" and that they are "isolated cases". 7 deaths in 2 weeks, he argued was not the worst record in the country, as if the people of the Ashanti region should now sigh a sigh of relief. Further to that he committed what I can only call the crime against patriotism which is to say 'similar thing happen in 'advanced' countries and they don't complain so why are we?' The expectations of Ghanaian people on their government should not be measured against the expectations of the UK and US people on their governments. Different groupings have different values and in social issues like this, no country is "advanced". Ghana shouldn't aspire to have as many crimes as the US, Ghana should aspire to have as few as the people find acceptable. And if we must compare, I can confirm that 7 deaths in 2 weeks in London would be a problem, let alone for a city half the size, in a relatively more conservative society.

Overall the entire interview was deeply uninspiring. Mark Woyongo basically said "there are guns from the inside, guns from the outside, guns from countries that have been peaceful for at least a decade, guns from the other side of the continent, guns from the sky and guns from the trees, we know about them and where they are and despite the noticeable increase in gun crime I am now here to announce that we will in the future some time be looking to monitor, but not regulate these productions and to be honest all of this has been happening for a very long time that I kinda forgot it was a big deal from my bullet proof police protected 4x4, I thought jumping around the country showing my face would be enough to convince you that I'm worth my salary so now that you've highlighted that I'm not I'm not very happy I think you should sweep this under the carpet and we will address it when we find a mountain with a rug on top and still remember that out of 54 countries we are the 32nd largest and therefore we have massive borders to police, a burden no one else has to bear and even larger countries don't complain so hush little baby don't say a word...."

If you think I've been unfair, say so.

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