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The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has urged the security services to proceed cautiously to arrest the right people culpable in the shocking murder of Captain Maxwell A. Mahama in order not to botch the case in court.
“In fighting crime, it is important that you get the right people who actually perpetrated the crime so that you would not go to court and be told that free them because you have no case,” Prof. Ransford Gyampoh, a Research Fellow of the think tank, said in Accra yesterday.
He was relating the shocking murder of the military officer to the findings of the IEA in a recent survey of the expectation of Ghanaians of the new government where Ghanaians expected the government to fight crime and promote personal safety.
“All it would take is for someone to shout and call you thief and people would jump on you and lynch you, before they realise that you are a chief, university professor or a minister, it is too late.”
“In trying to help fight crime, you should be able to ensure that you just don’t go on swoop, arresting everybody. You don’t have to create the impression to everybody that you are working, knowing that when you are subjected to strict proof you can’t say that they are the right people,” Prof. Gyampoh said.
A visibly emotional Prof Gyampoh said the savagery involved in the killing of the young military officer, who, incidentally was his student some years back in the University of Ghana, pointed to the fact that everyone was vulnerable to mob action.
Capt Mahama, who was in line for promotion to the rank of Major, was attacked while jogging and allegedly mistaken for an armed robber. He was on operational duties at the Alaska C&G Mining Company at Amenase Forest, near Diaso in the Central Region. He was said to be jogging when some residents accused him of being part of a robbery gang that had stormed Denkyira-Obuasi the previous day.
Although he did not mention any specific case, the recent case of the filing of noelle prosecui to release eight members of the Delta Force who were accused of invading a Kuamsi Circuit Court to release their colleagues who were standing trial, readily comes to mind.
The IEA research was in partnership with the Centre for International Private Enterprise (CIPE) and is part of the IEA’s measures aimed at addressing the developmental challenges confronting the country.
It was to investigate and seek the opinion of the public on their expectations of the new government based on the promises contained in the governing party’s manifesto and the 2017 budget, as well as assess the policy priorities of the government to know if they were in line with the real expectations of the Ghanaian people and ultimately guide the new administration policies from 2017 and beyond.
Methodology and findings
It sampled 1,641 views from people aged 15 years and above (with mobile phones) randomly nationwide.
The demography of the respondents showed that 40.7 per cent were between the ages of 15 and 25, those from 26 to 35 years were 38.4 per cent; 36 to 59 years 17.4 per cent and 60 years plus 3.5 per cent. While 54.7 per cent were from urban communities, 45.3 per cent were in rural areas with 41.8 per cent female and 58.2 per cent male.
Findings from the study suggest that job creation, economic stability, a friendly business environment, agriculture and building of infrastructure are key issues in the economic space for Ghanaians.
For education, the respondents are expecting the government to promote free education (51.9 per cent), improve quality (34.3 per cent) and build more schools (13.8 per cent).
Presenting part of the findings earlier, Dr Eric Osei-Assibey, also a Research Fellow of the Institute, said respondents who had higher education were concerned about the quality of education the free senior high school (SHS) policy would provide.
He said respondents from the three regions of the north and the Volta Region were also concerned about quality and not necessarily free education.
According to him, it was probably because for the three regions of the north, there was already some level of free education which had been plagued with challenges, including timely release of funds.
On health, the improved National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) topped the priority list with 57 per cent, followed by improved quality in healthcare delivery (22.2 per cent) and the building of more hospitals (20.8 per cent).