Astute politicians learn and master the art of speaking. They choose their words carefully, as well as their timing.
They are not pedestrian in what they say; they respect and value the sensibilities of their listeners. The minister of Zongo and Inner City Development, Boniface Abubakar Siddique, who has been touted as one of the matured politicians in the country, has said the unthinkable, unimaginable and unforgivable.
We revere the dead in this country, it is part of our culture, so any comment regarding the dead, must be weighed carefully, so as not to insult the bereaved family.
The minister and Member of Parliament (MP) for Madina, had this to say about the seven men, who were slain in the Ashanti region a fortnight ago, when elders from his Constituency, paid a courtesy call on him.
““If it happens if they were innocent but killed, definitely [they will be compensated] because they will have lawyers to defend their case.”
Before proceeding to expound the substantially floored logic of the Minister, who was expected to act with tact and diplomacy, let me point out that, what really took place, could be likened to genocide.
This is the first time such a dastardly act, was committed by the men in uniform, who are trained to protect lives and properties. The police, in the line of duty, might have killed one, two or at most three armed robbers in a shoot-out, but to kill seven people at a go is nothing, but a premeditated murder.
Now, let’s turn to the absurd statement by the minister, who is of the impression that, money answereth all things.
The families of the deceased are mourning the loss of their loved ones, they are yet to come to terms with the tragic events, which has robbed them of their sons, husbands, fathers, brothers etc.
The bodies after the autopsy report are yet to be released to the families for burial, the least anyone, could do for them in this their moment of grief is not to be talking about money.
How much is one life worth, you can’t put a price tag on it, Boniface, must be ashamed of himself, for even suggesting that, maybe, the families will be compensated.
The families do not need any independent probe to establish that, the seven men were deliberately killed, if indeed there was a shootout, how come the only people, who died were the alleged armed robbers, no police man sustained any injury or recorded any causality.
This case point to the ever-present need to train and re-orient our police force, there are other proper ways of handling armed robbers and that, does not include shoot to kill.
According to reports, some of these men, were known to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), they have worked for the party in the past and were still working for the party, assuming with admitting that, they were armed robbers, does it mean the NPP, entertain armed robbers?
Boniface Abubakar, should give us a break, if he thinks money is enough to assuage the pain of the families, he should also sacrifice himself to be killed, so that the state, will compensate his family.
No amount will bring them back, no amount will play the role of a father to a son or daughter, he needs to apologise to the families and the Asawase community in Kumasi, who are still recovering from the shock of a terrible blow dealt them.
The business of governments is to provide security, stimulate development and create wealth, not to be paying compensation. Our rulers find that task too sophisticated to understand and undertake.
According to him, “Within the shortest possible time, we should get everything done. It will not be more than one month,” the minister stated.
Boniface’s words means nothing to me, I have heard him make promises and pronouncements that never saw the light of day. We are counting the days, until it is one month from July 25.
Politicians have just developed the penchant with semantics, they do not meant what they say and don’t say what they mean, this is why I am entreating all to treat this one month promise, with all the contempt it deserves.
This is the time to show empathy and compassion, even before the so-called committee, could finish with its work, the minister, has started raising doubts about the suspicion of all well-meaning Ghanaians, that this was nothing but a planned execution.
We are all facing the barrel of the gun, we need to tread cautiously, before this thing blows on our faces.
Boniface should or was expected to know better, he is a minister today, because of the generosity of the Zongo people.
Majority of the voters, who ensured that, he is in parliament today are Zongos, the least he could do to say thank you, is to respect the memory of their dead.
They are a lot of Muslims in the NPP, who have the capacity, intellect, competent and are more qualified to be appointed by the president, but because they do not have a Constituency, they have been side-stepped.
Perhaps it is necessary to remind the minister and MP that he should also remember, which people put him where he is today.