Countless young Zongo men have been senselessly killed by security officers between 2020 and 2021.
This is a result of long standing hidden biases against Zongos that makes officers erroneously think Zongos are violent and the only way to subdue them is to use lethal force.
As inconvenient a truth as this might sound, the number of dead reveals a very dark secret we can no longer be pretentious towards.
Most of those hurt during the Ayawaso West Wuogon clash are Zongo boys. Seven innocent Zongo men were murdered at Manso Nkwanta. The then Ashanti Regional Police Commander, DCOP Mensah Doku claimed they were armed robbers and added that the same group attacked a commercial sprinter bus and killed an officer and wounded another. It did not end there, the Commander and his men displayed weapons they claimed belonged to the “robbers”. Justice has not only been denied, DCOP Doku has been promoted to COP despite the outcome of a five-member Committee that proved that the Zongo boys were innocent.
Other incidents such as the three killed at Ejura and one thirty-year-old Ibrahim Abass killed at Ablekuma Central are all Zongo boys.
I have come to the uncomfortable realization that Officers do not hesitate pulling the trigger when they go on Zongo-related operations because there is that implicit bias inflamed by perceptions about Zongo people being violent and can only be subdued when matched with deadly force.
This is similar to what is going on the US. White Officers according to research, are more likely to open fire at a black suspect than a white suspect.
It is an incontrovertible fact that, due to certain socio-economic and political deficits in our Zongos, these areas become breeding grounds for criminals. We need to fight crime but should not be at such an unwarranted human cost.
Source: Adib Saani|3news.com|Ghana
The author is a security expert and foreign policy analyst and an Executive Director of Jatikay Centre for Human Security and Peace Building. Views expressed in this article do not in any way reflect the position of the Media General Group.