By: Fred Duhoe|Voltaonlinegh.com
Education gives knowledge that uncovers the lid on darkness and brings light where many would have perished without it.
As ignorant as many on the streets are, it is more dangerous to see it fester, mature and become a monster without education.
On my usual travels from Accra to Ho last two years, I saw for myself how mob injustice was been meted out to a young man just almost my age.
Seeing the gory scene physically for the first time left me traumatized for days. Very unfortunate on my part, the vehicle I was on board was caught in serious traffic right there. Cement blocks were thrown at him; logs and any form of metal were used to hit him. For what his crime was, only Christ knows! I took my eyes off but will unconsciously catch a glimpse just to see if the young man has mysteriously vanished from the angry inhumane creatures.
The young man was weak, helpless and bleeding profusely. Aside death, he has no hope but the angry mob was still bent on setting him ablaze with lorry tyre hanged on him. How sad, pathetic and pity it was to imagine that was one of my friend or possibly your relative!
Just when I attempted shouting at the mob, other passengers on board my vehicle tamed me to my seat for the fear that I do not invite terror on them.
Gradually the vehicle faded from the scene from metres to kilometres but the incident was still mirroring in my eyes. It became clear to me when I saw it in the newspapers the following day and this means just one thing to me.
All the reportage about such inhuman and degrading treatment are often true and not concocted nor exaggerated as I use to think.
I asked myself, isn’t there anyone to seek justice for this sought of people? I revisited the 1992 constitution of Ghana to see if they have no place of refuge. It was in black and white in Article 13(1) that ‘No person shall be deprived of his life intentionally except in the exercise of the execution of a sentence of a court in respect of a criminal off.’
It thus, became evident the law prohibits such acts but seems the missing link here is the lack of education.
It is against this background that the African Centre for International Law and Accountability (ACILA) has been touring the length and breadth of Ghana, educating the fourth estate of the realm (The media) on what the law says with reference to the fundamental rights of everyone including the vulnerable in society.
Why the media? The media because their impact in shaping minds, educating and relentlessly shaping public knowledge is unmatched compared to the Executive, Judiciary and the Legislature.
The media on daily basis influence almost all Ghanaian through many mediums including print, radio/television or social media.
Throughout the year 2018, ACILA held engagement with 300 news editors, 180 news reporters and 60 bloggers and social media enthusiasts in all ten regions of Ghana. This has been one of the impactful means through which knowledge is impacted to better inform the public.
The Executive Director of ACILA, Mr. William Nyarko has dedicated his days, energy and resources to framework of ideas getting committed to a common purpose of a just society where everyone’s right is upheld and protected no matter the circumstances.
In an encounter with journalists in the Eastern region at Koforidua on October 10 2018 which I was privileged to partake, Mr William Nyarko said “everyone has a right to live and we must eschew the tendencies of pronouncing suspects guilty before they’re haul before the law” since this could lead to people taking the law into their own hands to meter out cruel punishment to suspected individuals.
As the World marks December 10 as “World Human Rights Day”, the onus lies on us to seek knowledge on the fundamental human rights in the chapter 5 of the 1992 constitution of Ghana.
We cannot keep doing unto others what we would have resisted others to do unto us. No matter how slowly the wheel of justice grinds, the outcome will certainly be in the interest of the parties and strengthening our democracy.
Just as people living with some form of disability or the other are considered “vulnerable”, it simply means they fall in a class of some minority where their dependency on the majority will certainly mean so much to them to achieve their full potentials.
No one chooses to be an amputee, blind, death, dwarf or hunchbacked but to be sexually oriented is but a choice and this does not necessarily make the law selective in implementation.
No matter our race, religion, creed, or “SEXUAL” orientation, we all deserve some dignified treatment under the laws even under the United Nations Chatter declaration some 70 years on.
It is sad and worrying to say the least to ever pelt stone or assault or marginalize someone based suspicions of LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender).
Heaven suddenly broke loose when the president of the Republic of Ghana mentioned in a BBC interview that law to legalise gays and lesbians relationship will one day emerge when a strong force emerge to revolt for it. Yes, such act has no place in our Ghanaian society same way taking the life of another or himself.
We ought not to be judgmental by considering some acts more sinful hence demand lighter punishment just like a man who sleeps with his fellow man for pleasure. I’m totally against the act of LGBT just as I’m against any form of inhumane treatment towards such persons, one must not attempt killing a fellow human but rather draw the laws attention and that’s where I stand because they’re simply vulnerable like the visually impaired.
To better assist such people, it’s best to offer them some form of counseling with higher expectation that they change to understand the most enjoyable sexual experience of a man initiating with a woman.
The Holy book (Bible), in Numbers 35:16-17 speaks volume of what awaits all of us who think we must stone others to death.
In as much as our educational system might have failed us by not enlightening us on the basic human rights, it is just proper to seek knowledge ourselves because it will first be to your defense when anyone attempts to abuse that basic RIGHT.
It’s still a crime in Ghana to engage in any canal knowledge in public and it’s equally a crime to dehumanize or assault a fellow human let alone taking a fellow human life.
Source: Fred Duhoe/Voltaonlinegh.com