Today, scores of Ghanaians will converge on the forecourt of the State House to bid farewell to Major Maxwell Adam Mahama, the heroic soldier who was clubbed to death by some miscreants of Denkyira Obuasi while he still held on to his gun — a lethal weapon that could have taken the lives of his assailants.
It is unimaginable that a soldier with a gun could die in the hands of civilians holding clubs and other missiles. The narrative sounds a bit bizarre but tells a story of a soldier with a human heart who, even when his life was at risk, still believed in reasoning with a mob that was determined to visit injustice on him.
So it has come to pass that Major Mahama died in the service of Mother Ghana. But his death has taught us many lessons, including the need for legal and policing reforms and a change in the people’s own attitude to the rule of law.
Since returning to democratic governance in 1993, Ghanaians have not lost the opportunity to tout the country as the beacon of democracy and the rule of law on the African continent. Unfortunately, we have ignored practices that will help these democratic principles to thrive and endure.
Just step out of your house and you are faced with acts of indiscipline in every facet of human endeavour. Drivers on the roads are indisciplined and they hurl unprintable words at other road users who try to call them to order.
At the workplace, workers refuse to abide by ethics; some idle, gossip, work lotto, get to work late and are the first to take their bags and head for the office bus/bus stations. This group of workers are the loudest in their establishments and always demand pay rise from their managements.
In the communities, especially the cities, public places earmarked for schools, roads, markets and hospitals have been taken over by unscrupulous and influential people, some of whom take front seats in our churches and mosques. Even the so-called men of God are involved in all kinds of unpatriotic and criminal activities, while others, including politicians, flaunt their wealth stolen from the public purse.
Our drains are silted, while our water bodies are polluted, with human activities creating environmental challenges and floods with the least rainfall.
Lately, mining has assumed the path of illegality, with all manner of characters, including foreigners, mostly Chinese, destroying our water bodies and the environment.
Is it surprising that young Major Mahama had to sacrifice his life fighting this menace called galamsey which, as a nation, we have acquiesced to all these years? We have looked on for more than a decade while these galamsey operators carried out their illegal activities with impunity, sometimes with the connivance of politicians, chiefs and members of the security agencies.
Not too long ago, it was unthinkable that galamsey operations could be brought to order because the operators had become so powerful as a result of the support they received from influential people in society.
The Daily Graphic knows that it is not going to be easy for the wife and the children of Major Mahama to survive these harsh economic conditions, but knowing the character of the Ghanaian to help in times of need, the men and women of goodwill in our society will certainly help the family to stand on their feet.
Once again, we appeal to all well-meaning Ghanaians to support efforts to build an endowment fund that Major Mahama’s children can live on until the day that they can stand on their feet to fend for themselves.
We particularly call on Ghanaians to put a halt to impunity in our land as a lasting legacy to the memory of Major Mahama.