By Abdul Razak Bawa
The latest report by Reporters Without Borders on press freedom in Ghana, must serve as a wake-up call to authourities, especially the Ghana police service to without delay reopen the investigation into the murder of Ahmed Hussein Suale, who was gun down by two assailants on a motorbike.
The day was January 16, 2019, four years after his murder a sovereign and democratic nation, governed by law cannot apprehend and bring to justice the masterminds behind the dastardly act.
It was the first time in the history of this country a journalist will be killed in such fashion and, expectedly, it drew global outrage, with journalists and media organizations, joining in the call for the government to find the perpetrators of such a heinous crime.
The incident has caused a major embarrassment not only to the country, but to president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who is touted as a human rights lawyer and one who has fought against tyranny and believes in freedom of expression.
President Akufo-Addo, who took over from president John Dramani Mahama, has made copious statements and promises about protecting journalists.
Speaking Akufo-Addo, speaking at the University of Cape Coast, on Saturday, May 29, 2021, at a ceremony held to confer an honorary doctorate degree on him, said “I need no lessons in the importance of a vigorous media in building a healthy democracy. I have said so and I will say it again that I would much rather we had a reckless press, than a supine one”.
Several journalists have been attacked in the last five years in the course of their duties and not a single person, has been held accountable for visiting pain on them.
Within this period, some notable journalists, like David Tamakloe of the Whatsapp news, Caleb Kudah of Citi FM, Latif Idris of Multi Media Group, Emmanuel Ajafor, an editor for ModernGhana.com, etc. the manner of their treatment brought back sad memories of the dark days.
Security services, especially the Ghana, which is mandated by law to safeguard the safety citizens and bring to justice, who do harm to their fellow citizens, for some inexplicable reasons thrown the murder of Ahmed Suale in the dustbin. A Hollywood style murder should not be added to the long list of unresolved murders that continue to hunt the conscience of the nation.
Ahmed Suale, like many people whose lives were cut short by unrepentant miscreants deserve justice and as a nation, we can’t deny them that. Ahmed in the course of his career , was of the strong conviction that, he was helping sanitize his country and weed out those who seek to profit at the expense everyone else.
He put his life on the line and sacrifice his comfort and that of his family, with the mistaken belief that, should something happen to him, his country will not go to sleep but everything humanly possible will be done to ensure he gets justice.
It would be oddly fitting, if by now at least the gentlemen who took his life are on trial to answer for their crime, but to think that, after more than three years of his murder, not a single person is facing trial.
We can all pretend to play the Ostrich, as we have done in the past, we can all continue to behave like that, child who will cry when something of his is taken away from him and keeps quiet when it is returned, this unfortunate attitude where we all pretend to care and be concern when something happens and yet it only takes two weeks and we are back to where we were, with something else to talk about or be concerned about.
In this country, it is each for himself and God for us all. It is a monumental achievement, for someone to live in Ghana of today, and still retain his sanity. More so, when the person is patriotic and wants to contribute his quota, to move this country forward.
Now, let’s face it. Ghana is a country where lawlessness seems to be the “operating law”, even though there is an operating code of governance called ‘the 1992 constitution’.
We know longer operate with the common law that checks and streamline our behavior but rather the rule of men. All one has to do to escape a crime or be protected is for the person to be highly connected or politically aligned.
They is a general crime and political crime in this country, it is obvious the inability of the police to bring the killers of Ahmed Suale to justice is because they is a big man somewhere, whose hands is soiled in the matter.
As a people we were not always this philistine, intolerant, angry, minatory and hateful. Our fathers were peaceful people who lived in harmony and tolerated each other, they held out a hand of brotherhood to others from different tribes, religious persuasion, as well as political persuasion. They shared a common destiny and lived in harmony.
They were accommodating of divergent views, temperate in utterance, graceful and measured in actions.
Unfortunately, over the period, money and politics have changed the narrative and we are ready to kill or maim provided that will help us achieve our aim. The end now, justifies the means.
While, we all join in the condemnation of the killing of veteran Al Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Aqla by Israeli forces, I wish to remind the president, his minister of Interior, Attorney General and Minister of Justice and the Inspector General of Police, who is also a friend of the media, to as a matter of urgency find the killers of Ahmed Suale and bring them to justice.
Despite all the appeals to find his killers has been a case of old habits die hard; i.e. we never get to the bottom of anything.
Ahmed Suale’s case is even more blood-chilling because he was shot and killed when he was called home that his child was not feeling well. We now live in a country that has lost its soul.
The murder of Ahmed Hussein Suale, should not drag unnecessarily. The earlier the killers are found, the better for all of us, until then his murder will haunt our collective conscience.