Civilians have been subjected to torture by brutality in the past few days, following the partial lockdown imposed on parts of Ghana by President Nana Akufo-Addo, to help curb the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) which has caused global scourge.
The security officers enforcing the laws granted the President of the Republic, under the Imposition of Restrictions Act, 2020 (Act 1012), have exercise undue and excessive force (violence) against civilians.
Social media has been awashed with several disgusting video footages of security officers abusing civilians for not being law abiding.
Truth is, already, a lot of Ghanaians regard our military personnel as a bunch of brutal, violent and insensitive folks, looking for the slightest opportunity to kick or assault someone.
In that regard, their recent deployment to the streets was a welcome opportunity for them to dissolve that perception and prove that indeed, they are not a host of mindless rogues and hostile bullies, as many assume.
However, with the few video excerpts in circulation, it is sad to say that the perceptions people hold about them may not change after all.
Unfortunately, that’s what happens when in reality you have some of your security personnel themselves who don’t understand what they are enforcing, but they have the temerity to abuse other citizens who may also not understand genuinely or are even exempted. When you send out undisciplined and overzealous security officers to manage other human beings, chaos is inevitable.
If banks, utility service providers and vendors, pharmacies and the entire food value and distribution chain is not on a lock down but are allowed to operate, there surely would be persons on the streets to patronize such services. We cannot generalize and say all persons out there without ID cards deserve to be flogged.
As a country, we have long left the era of brutish force and violence, and so the military should do well to be restrained and civil.
The police and military personnel involved in these acts should be told the truth that they cannot be lawyers and judges in their own courts where they, on their own make an accusation, adjudicate the case, pass judgement and meet out instant corporal punishment in this day and age.
Maybe just maybe hierarchy of the military command and all the stakeholders in this lockdown are not aware of the brutalities — someone may have to notify them to call the few aggressive troupes to order immediately.
May I submit that, as far as COVID-19 is concerned, slaps and belts don’t stop the contagion.