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Afraid to die but more afraid to live!

BY: Caroline Boateng
Afraid to die but more afraid to live!
Afraid to die but more afraid to live!

Two incidents the past week impassioned me. The first was the agitation by morticians for better service conditions.

The second, the beating up of the Ghanaian Times reporter, Malik Sullemana and his colleagues by police officers.

Morticians' conditions of work, leave me quesy in the stomach and numb, particularly because duty bearers like the Ministry of Health (MoH) and the Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations (MELR), who should know better are so unconcerned.

The beating of journalists makes my heart sink because I could be the one confronted by an "almighty" police officer.

With me, in the situation of Malik Sullemana, I would have been literally broken into two because of my lack in body mass or shot right there adjacent to the AMA office where the incident occured.

Because being a woman and a journalist, it is hard to be silent, especially when an abuse of any sort is occurring.

Thus, I would say it! I would insist on the right thing being done! And I would challenge the offending party to live up to expectation!.

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The lives of Ghanaians are hard enough as they are.

But to die and be packed in one of the over stretched mortuaries in the country like "momone" (cut, salted and cured fish, with a pungent smell, a delicacy in most stews in Ghana), as described by Mr Richard Jordan, the General Secretary of the Mortuary Workers Association of Ghana (MOWAG), is disheartening.

He did not only describe the situation, he showed pictures that would leave one with a sobered spirit.

Living in Ghana is a challenge for many! Dying, although one may not have the awareness, is pathetic and really undignified!

To struggle in life to eke out a living and die to be packed in an undignified manner in an environment where the refrigeration might be spoilt, with terrible floors and walls, that makes it a disincentive for morticians to work, is simply not right.

De-motivated morticians would not work with any consideration and bodies will be hurled and thrown about!

Now, the police officer, Sergeant Ebenezer Asiedu of the Accra Regional SWAT Unit, who is alleged to have assaulted journalists, is like those who have made it their aim to make life unbearable for Ghanaians.

With all the powers that a police officer has, should he and his colleagues have used brute force to teach Malik Sullemana a lesson? As if they were not human beings?

Like a thug on a robbing spree, Ebenezer Asiedu is alleged to have used his elbow to punch the stomach of Raissa Sambou Ebu, who had been through a cesarean operation recently.

Are these police officers or rogue elements in uniform?

I am really surprised also at the handling of the case by the Ghana Police Service (GPS).

To have denied Malik Sullemana medical attention until the intervention of the Head of the Public Affairs Directorate of the GPS, ACP Senanu Eklu and the Public Relations Officer of the Accra region, DSP Gifty Afia Tenge, is an indictment on them and the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mr David Asante Apeatu.

For him to have been dragged up a staircase for his statement to be taken, as he alleges, is unfathomable! This whole affair paints for me a picture of dissatisfied and frustrated police officers, who snap at the least provocation, like the filming of their actions in public.

Now the statements have come in fast and thick, even from the Ministry of Information and the GPS itself, condemning the act.

I really pray to God that all will not end there.

I pray that after investigations, the proper sanctions would be brought to bear so that Ebenezer Asiedu learns.

I hope he will not be reassigned for him to visit mayhem on others in a different jurisdiction.

And I really hope that the police administration does not cover for him as it has been doing with several police brutality incidents.

While the police are at it, I hope the two ministries will make dying appealing.

Listen to the morticians, their work is no less than that of other health professionals!

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