The nation was stunned by the gruesome murder of a young promising soldier, Captain Maxwell A. Mahama on the May, 29, 2017 by locals of Denkyira-Obuasi in the Central region.
My deepest condolences to the bereaved family, especially the wife and children, the 5 Battalion of Infantry and the entire Ghana Armed Forces. The news came to some of us as the usual sharing of disturbing photographs which sometimes lack credibility on social media.
Actually, the pictures posted were quite frightening to sensitive viewers let alone its belief. It was also difficult for anyone to recognize the deceased even if you knew him, due to the state in which his face was brutally disfigured. Well, even if it happened, definitely not in Ghana.
I consoled myself with those thoughts. Eventually, the news of the demise of the young soldier appeared to be true. Media houses broke the news the next morning with confirmation from relevant authorities.
The pain of the public was heightened as live photos of the handsome Military Captain went viral on the same social media, juxtaposed with those gory images. Coming to terms with the issue has been very difficult for some of us, since we served on the Regional Election Security Task Force committee, in the 2016 General Elections.
The last time we worked together was in a Joint Police –Military operations in the recent Agbobloshie disturbances which claimed a life. Captain Mahama may have fallen but never forgotten. What kind of officer was he?
After a commensurate visit to the 5BN, where Captain Mahama directly worked and the family, I proceeded to find out more about who he really was in the regimental circles and he was everything you will imagine him to be.
“He was a very active officer whose discretion I always trust and anytime I give him an assignment I get the desired results” those were the exact words of 5BN Commander, LT Col. Timothy Ba-Taa-Banah, expressed with a heavy heart. He asked repeated questions that I wished I had answered to.
“I have questioned our societal values since this tragic incident, was there no opinion leader? No retired public servant? No Imam? No fetish priest? No Pastor or Catechists? No Elder? Etc.”
The commander asked. Lt. Col Ba-Taa-Banah was the late Captain’s instructor during his Basic Officer Training program at the Military Academy and he served directly under his command after Completion, so he’s known everything about his transition from civilian to comrade-in-arms.
Captain Maxwell Adams Mahama joined the Ghana Armed Forces in 2005 and commissioned on the September, 7, 2007. He rose through the ranks to a Captain and was still climbing the regimental ladder for greater prospects in future.
He commanded, administered, trained and deployed not less than 105 other ranks under him. His leadership qualities and professional accolades overtime were in no doubt. He had successfully completed and passed his promotional exams pending promotions to the rank of a Major in the Army until his duty call to Denkyira-Obuasi on the May, 9, 2017.
Adding to his working capabilities and skills, the captain has been an intelligence officer, maintenance officer and a Platoon commander. He can be described as a problem- solver who is not daunted by challenging issues. It was through one of his initiatives that he conducted a research and sought a permanent solution to a military Mango Farm within the command that was not bearing fruits.
He also brought a lot of relief to residents of Akrakan Barracks during which the time that he was maintenance officer by bringing a solution to a major sewage problem. Peacekeeping operations cannot be detached from the working life of an average military officer. On the regional block, Captain Mahama has served on a number of peace keeping operations, including, Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Lebanon, and has exhibited distinguished qualities in the areas of responsibilities.
We may never end with the litany of good potentials possessed by the young officer. We have lost a giant comrade today but if we fail as nation to identify and address the growing levels of injustice, indiscipline and lawlessness we witness in our society, there will be no hiding place for all of us when the center can no longer hold.
Unfortunately, when an incident like this occurs we hear a lot of blame game churned on all media platforms. The security institutions especially the police, judiciary, parliament, civil society, religious bodies, the media and even the Presidency are not spared in the castigation.
My strong belief is that we don’t have the time at all as a nation to point accusing fingers at state institutions and individuals but as a matter of urgency come together irrespective of our political divide, religion, ethnicity or any form of obstacle posing a threat to nationalism, and develop ways in dealing with the canker. It happened once, twice, thrice, and we are still counting. When are we going to get realistic with issues and nib the situation in the bud?
I am convinced the time is now! Let us not be seen politicizing the issue, a crime is a crime and the perpetrators must be dealt with according to the dictates of law without fear nor favor.
For “The dead cannot cry out for justice. It is a duty of the living to do so for them” (Lois McMaster Bujold ). Moreover, the culture of Ghanaians commenting on issues when they come and going to sleep on them when others resurface must cease. Come to think of it, must we always loose a life before we re-order our steps? This time around, let’s invigorate the struggle for justice, attitudinal change and a national call for an end to mob injustice.
We may all not be getting something right but there must be a solution out. Let us have a self-retrospection as Ghanaians, rediscover and redefine our true Ghanaian values, pursue them with consistency until there is a desired social reform.
For the officers and men of the Ghana Armed Forces, I will continue to admonish you to maintain the calm you have exhibited so far until we all get justice for our beloved brother CAPTAIN MAXWELL ADAMS MAHAMA.
Have our last salute CAPTAIN MAXWELL ADAMS MAHAMA until we meet again.