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If I were an armed robber: eulogy for Capt. Maxwell Adam Mahama

Capt. M. A. Mahama

Weep not for my passing, celebrate not my funeral with weeping, for I linger on the mouth of men and live – Quintus Ennius.

For one, death is a liberator. For another, death is a punishment. Still for another, death is a benefit. For some others, death is a reward. Your death resonates the ever mind torturing thoughts on what the purpose of life is and why some people are so unfortunate whilst others endowed with a undeserved luck.

Our forefathers say, nipa papa nky3 w) asaase yi so; to wit, the good person never lives longer enough in this world. This adage has two explanations; the first is that the kindhearted person always has an early dissipation of his/her vital force. The second is that men never gets tired of a kindhearted person and any instance of departure is deemed short enough to resonate such an adage. As I read of your death, witness the anger, the pain, the humanness, the vent, the rant and curses expressed by those who knew you, heard of you, read about you and watched you in videos, I have two thoughts.

Firstly, yes your life was shortlived. People who have added no value to their lives since their birth did not value yours. But your departure will forever remind us of how inhumane some can be. Secondly, your shortlived life was a well lived one; for you served your country in a way some of us have not. Ghana is sorry; Ghana thanks you.

Heartbreaking in all that I have read and heard, not having the heart to watch any of the videos, is the ascription that you were considered as an armed robber. I know if you were so described, whilst alive, these would have been your near to, or exact response; If I were an armed robber, I will choose the places to rob carefully. I will neither rob a village nor a small town where they have almost nothing. I will not rob the less affluent who may be subsistence farmers. I will rob the rich. I will operate at where I can get something to rob. After all as the saying goes, s3 wobro Ohemaa a, bo no yie na 3y3 d3n a wob3twa dwan, to wit, when you decide to beat a queen mother, be sure to beat her to the best of your ability because, you will not escape a fine of slaughtering a sheep to appease her.

If I were an armed robber, I will choose a better time to rob. Thieves are not that dumb, even a petty one. I will be an intelligent robber and not attempt a robbery at around 8.30 am when I know I am all alone. I will rob at the time when my targeted victims are vulnerable to defend. After all, the Good Book, says, the thief commeth at night…

If I were an armed robber, I will not surrender at a shout of people and try reasoning with them. I will have a second option of escape. No thief goes on an operation without an exit plan. I will find a better way of escape when caught. I will know that my intention will not allow me to reason with my victims.

If I were an armed robber, I will only show that I have a gun when I want to threaten and overcome resistance to my stealing. I will not have my pistol by me and make it visible to even the innocent child. I will know that such a decision will give me away easily.

If I were an armed robber, I will plead to be pardoned when I know death is imminent. I will not give up at looking pitiful. I will struggle and fight back for my life even if it means to plead.

If I were an armed robber, I will not die alone when I have a gun on me. I would have died with as many people as my bullets will determine. For an armed robber kills even when not provoked. Danger invites rescue, and my gun will be my rescuer.

In all these, you did not give your life to these barbaric people. They took it. They owe you your life, Captain. They owe Ghana a life. They owe your wife a husband. They owe your kids a father, they owe your mum and dad an only son.

Your death should excite a question in the heart of every right thinking Ghanaian; what if it happens to me? Indeed, No one can say enough, no one can cry enough, no one can weep enough, but we can resolve as a nation and say never again. Never again must we reward people for vigilante acts. Never again must we judge by appearance. Never again must we take the law into our own hands. Never again must we be let off after committing such an act. If we say proverbially that the law has a long arm, then the perpetrators, aiders, abettors, conspirators and everyone actively and passively involved whether through an act or omission must answer the questions that the law will pose.

Fare thee well Captain. May God save your soul. Fare thee well.

By Kow Kwegya Amissah Abraham

Lecturer (UCC). Policy Analyst (CEPRAT).

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