CanoeVibes: Social media coup advocates, Ashaiman Taifa is your answer!


I remember the very day a friend posted on social media that a suspected military man had been killed in Taifa – a suburb in Ashaiman, my mind snaked right back into the gruesome murder of the late Major Mahama, and the reported rage among his colleagues.

We all know what the military is capable of doing in such situations, so I prayed the post was not true. But a day or so later, it was confirmed the dead man, Imoro Sheriff, was a military officer. He was 21 years and stationed in Sunyani. When details emerged about the circumstances leading up to his death, I panicked. I did so because I felt the latest murder may trigger a reaction from the soldiers.

I, however, did not anticipate the scale of mayhem visited on the residents. Some of the videos shared on social media were too difficult to watch. I heard the accounts of two people who said they were stripped naked, beaten with steel pipes, and dragged through the rain.

The soldiers’ reaction was condemned by most people, including former senior soldiers, who felt the reaction to their colleague’s death was inhumane, barbaric, and reminiscent of the years of military regimes. At the beginning of this year, the country marked 30 years of democratic practice.

In a region surrounded by political instability and autocratic governance, changing governments through the ballot is no mean achievement. But changing governments through the ballot without commensurate economic growth and improvement in social services will force people to question the relevance of the said democracy. What is the point of a democracy if it cannot result in the general well-being of the people, somebody wrote under a comment on Twitter.

There is a general perception among a good number of Ghanaians that the current political climate has facilitated enormous rise in corruption, and the political actors continue to hide behind existing systems to loot at will.

“Just make sure you get into a position of control, then steal as much as you can – nobody gives a f**k about this country,” another user commented under a thread. “We will all scream for a week or so, rest our voices and move onto the next issue.”

There is a general talk among the populace that our democracy is slowly fading away from its own ethos and something must be done about it.  This perception has fuelled postings on social media by a lunatic class of people who think our problems can be resolved through military coups.

They have such insatiable lust for military regimes and romanticised them with so much joy.  The few times that I had come across such posts, I clicked the profiles, laughed at the post, and just moved on. Do these guys really know what it means to live under a military regime, I once shared my frustrations about such posts to a friend. Either those who lust for military regimes deliberately do so for social media likes or are ignorant and stupid. Maybe they need to be sat down and lectured on how people suffered in the 1980s.

Under a military regime, not only soldiers, but even civilians may take the law into their hands and inflict pain on those they do not like. I have heard stories about how some men were beaten for dating women who turned down the romantic overtures of so called ‘big men’ at the time. I am not sure that is the life those misguided elements want for all of us.

Our democracy is not a perfect one, but it should not also create an environment for despondency among the population. How do we justify the financial turnaround of persons in positions of power within a short period of time without raising an eyebrow? Imperfect as our democracy is, it should never be the wish of anyone that a miliary regime is an option; it is not. But for those who hold such a thought, the unfortunate incident in Ashaiman holds the perfect template for you to have a rethink of that lust. Under a military regime, there are no winners – everyone  becomes a casualty.

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