Ghana, as it stands now, is in a partial lockdown, meaning, citizens not working within the security apparatus or offering any of the essential services such as healthcare, fire service, traders of foodstuffs among a few others should remain in the confines of their homes.
However, an emerging trend is fast building up. One will wonder what is it?
I am in this case referring to the harsh abuse of a few but growing numbers of civilians at the hands of our men/ women in uniform. Prominent among these is the sudden and surprise whipping of an elderly food vendor in her late 60s. Before I dissect the issues it is raising, let me brief you on the story.
The said woman has gone to the market to purchase tomatoes to cook food in order to sell as she heard that, food vendors, were exempted from the partial lockdown. After purchasing the said grocery, and returning, she encountered a police barrier where she was asked to turn back because they wouldn't allow her to cross. According to the woman, she obliged and turn back only to feel a sharp pain on her back. She washes whipped by one of the uniformed men.
The scenario above has received massive condemnation and denunciation from human rights as 'unprofessional' on their part.
Nonetheless, I am not preaching that, the laws must be relaxed to satisfy the whims and caprices of some citizens who will want to also take advantage of the current situation. As far as I remember, some of the instructions given concerning the lockdown is that, essentials such as food should be purchased, cooked and sold in one own locality: there should be no crossing to another in order to migrate the spread of the still-lurking COVID 19 (Corona) Virus.
Though the elderly widowed woman flouted the above instruction of which she must be apprehended, the security men, on the other hand, went too far.
Couldn't they have left her to go without whipping when she obliged by turning back? Better still they could have told her to operate in her vicinity with a stern warning not to repeat her action.
As a citizen of this country, watching that old woman shivering, weeping and talking in loud tones was quite disturbing. Though the peace officers were given a lawful mandate to ensure that Ghanaians comply with the lockdown directive, I feel it shouldn't be used as a conduit to take advantage of citizens.
That is not to say civilians must use these isolated cases as blackmail to intentionally flout the national directive as it emerged on Thursday in Kasoa. The uniform men stationed there, according to credible news sources are beginning to lose morale as a result. This emerging trend is also dangerous; it can spark a renewed spread of the dreaded Corona Virus.
As citizens, we have a Civic duty to comply especially, if you don't belong to the essential services category or you are not doing something of great importance or value in town. I plead with you to stay at home.
It is for the common good of us all. To our men and women in uniform, I plead with you to discipline right. There are more sane measures you can employ to deal with those stubborn Ghanaians rather than inflicting needless pain.
This one too will surely pass.