The logic of violence

Posted by By at 21 May, at 17 : 00 PM Print

The logic of violence

“There’s a natural mystic blowing through the air;
If you listen carefully now you will hear.
This could be the first trumpet, might as well be the last:
Many more will have to suffer,
Many more will have to die – don’t ask me why.
Things are not the way they used to be,
I won’t tell no lie;
One and all have to face reality now.
‘Though I’ve tried to find the answer to all the questions they ask.
‘Though I know it’s impossible to go livin’ through the past –
Don’t tell no lie.”

–‘Natural Mystic.’ Bob Marley

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
“Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?”

– ‘The Second Coming,’ William Butler Yeats (1865-1939)

Do you know the number one problem we face in this country?

Why do I have the feeling that you’re going to tell me?

Don’t take that attitude with me, OK?


Methinks that as a writer you’ll be interested to learn a few tricks, as they say.

I am all ears.

We don’t know how to take advantage of potential economic situations. Take it from me; that’s our numero uno problem in this country. We sit, literally and figuratively, on pure cash mine without realizing it. And that’s a biggo biggo problem in my books.

What are you talking about?

You don’t mean that I’m not making myself clear?

Not to me. Or maybe I am not just reading you. What are you carrying in that bulging folder you’re cradling like a prized possession?

Of course, they are prized. Highly prized! They are newspapers clipping I have gathered in the last few weeks to show how our people failed to take adequate advantage of the prevailing situation in our dear land?

I still do not understand what exactly you’re talking about.

Let me ask you a question.

Go ahead.

What is Ghana, our beloved homeland, known for?

Ah, we used to be called the Gold Coast; that was before the multinationals depleted our gold reserves. We are also noted for playing an entertaining type of football.
We also gave the world a UN Sec-Gen. We…

Stop there, my friend? Who give a fig about a UN SEC whatever? I mean what credentials do our leaders brandish when they tout us to the world as the ‘Gateway to Africa?’

They say that we are a peaceful, foreigners-loving people.

And has that resulted in any appreciable level of tourists swarming our shores?

You’re asking the wrong person; I am not in the tourism trade.

Forget whether or not you’re in tourism. Another question: what type of news about Africa sell in western media?

That’s easy; the usual staple: corruption, war, epidemic, violence.

Now you know what I mean that our people lack the singular capacity to take strategic advantage of tactical situations?

No, I don’t.

Ok, let me ask you another question: what news have dominated the Ghanaian media in the recent past?

I must admit that I do not keep tally.

Worry not, my good friend. That’s why I brought this folder. Take a look. Here:

“Over 50 students were reportedly rushed to the Techiman Holy Family Hospital last night after they reportedly collapsed when teargas was fired by the police to halt an outbreak of violence at an inter-schools sports festival Saturday. The clashes which occurred at the Techiman Secondary School started when students of TESS accused their counterparts from Tuobodom Secondary Technical School of destroying school property after the games. Students of six other schools who were camped on the Techiman Secondary School Campus had to run for cover to avoid injury.”

“ –

“ “Police in the Northern Region have intercepted a bus-load of a cache of ammunition allegedly belonging to some prominent politicians in the region. The Northern Regional Police Command is yet to release the names of the politicians involved. Based on intelligence information, police officers conducted a search Saturday night on a bus with registration number ER 3336X which was travelling from Kumasi to Bunkprugu Yonyoo. The police retrieved military accoutrements including 80 9mm rounds of pistols and 178 rounds of AK 47 ammunition concealed under the driver’s seat.

The Northern Regional Police Public Relations Officer, Chief Inspector Ebenezer Tetteh told Joy News the driver, Abdalla Yaro, 28, and his mate Ibrahim, 20, would be arraigned before court on Monday for illegal possession of weapons. Chief Inspector Tetteh said some top political figures are alleged to be behind the smuggling. “The Northern Regional Police Command has been receiving intelligence information about some prominent politicians in the North who want to smuggle some arms and ammunition into the area.”-


“ “Mamprusis in Bawku are accusing government of always taking sides with their Kusasi counterparts. The Mamprusi’s in Bawku defied a national security ban on Saturday and went ahead to celebrate the Damba festival. A directive was issued on Thursday to suspend Saturday’s festival due to the fragile nature of security in the town.

There were concerns by National Security that celebrating Damba could erupt into violent clashes between Kusasis and Mamprusi. But the Mamprusis, who claim the ban was politically motivated, went ahead with the celebration. The leader of the Mamprusi group, Alhaji Seidu Kalifa, told Joy News there were indications government took sides in the matter. Why should government stop us from celebrating our custom when he has allowed the Kusasis to perform theirs?” he asked. However, the Kusasi’s insist, by going ahead with the festival, their Mamprusi brothers undermined the authority of Bawku Naaba.” –


“ “Twenty one houses have been set ablaze in Kambatiac in the Bunpkurugu Yunyoo ,district of the Northern Region by some angry youth. The youth, said to be settlers from the Gbankoni ethnic group were angry over failure by the elders of the town to allocate them land on which to build their houses. Six people are said to have been injured in the attack and are receiving treatment, an eye witness confirmed to Joy news. The spokesperson to the Northern Regional Police Commander told Joy News’ Evans Mensah that Thursday’s attack is a deterioration of an old rivalry between the groups. He said police have been dispatched to restore peace in the” –


“ “The chief of Shigu, a suburb of Tamale in the Northern Region, was reportedly killed by unknown assailants Monday, March 22 at about 7:30 pm. The police have confirmed the incident and say they are investigating it. Joy FM’s Northern Regional correspondent, Mahama Shaibu, reports the slain chief had visited a friend and on his return, some unknown people ambushed and hacked him from the neck.

The Shigu chief was enskinned by the chief of Sanarigu amidst protestations a few months ago. The family of the predecessor of the slain chief resisted the enskinment, arguing they had not performed the final funeral rites of the deceased’s successor. For them, enskinning a chief while his predecessor’s final funeral rites had not been performed was alien to, and inconsistent with, Dagbon customs and traditions. Reports say there is general fear in the area following the incident.” –


“ “Two people have been confirmed dead following clashes between two factions in Dankyira, a town near Amasaman in Accra on Tuesday. ASP Zingi spokesperson of the Greater Accra Regional Police Command blamed the clashes on “chronic land disputes” in the area. One of the victims, Joy news has learnt, is a local chief in the area, but the police are yet to confirm that. Tuesday’s skirmishes is the third in line of chieftaincy and land-related-violence which has claimed a total of six lives in parts of the country, this month. The first was the Tuobodom and Techiman chieftaincy crisis which claimed three lives. On Monday evening, a local chief in Shigu, a suburb of Tamale was also killed on his motor bike by an unknown assailant.” –


“ “We’ve become very political, chiefs are political, the police are political, everybody is political, that makes the life of everybody very difficult. As a policeman, your loyalty is to the state, as a military man your loyalty is to the state but we have a situation where you have party people in the military, party people in the police, party people everywhere. We need to depoliticise the institutions of state. Brig. Gen. Nunoo-Mensah expressed regret that the security services had been dangerously polarised along partisan lines. He said there has been dereliction duty on the part of many leading to the situation which was completely avoidable. “This situation we are in, in Tuobodom shouldn’t have reached where it is at the moment, it should have been dealt with quite rapidly within the locality.”
People are not doing their work and this is the biggest problem we face at the moment and also you’ve got so much politics as I said earlier, in what we do so that if something happen [people just] say this is not our man, this is not our party man. This shouldn’t be the case! If you go wrong, the law shouldn’t have any business in saying that ‘this man is not one of us’, he is one of us so the law shouldn’t deal with the person, the law should deal with everybody.” –


Now, my friend, you see what I mean that we are not taking advantage of situations.
You apparently have taken the time to do your research, but how does this translate into taking advantage of situations?

Ah, you’re still missing the big picture. If we touted and trumpeted ourselves as the most peaceful nation in Africa for years and yet the tourists, who we are told would transform our economy, refused to come. I say it is time we change gear.

By announcing ourselves as the most lawless, indiscipline and violent country in Africa? You can’t be serious, are you?

And why not, my good friend? The only successful people are those that use what they have to get what they want?

And what happened to sense of shame? You mean that we should self-flagellate ourselves because we want to invite western tourists?

You have to be dispassionate about these types of things, ok. This is not an emotional issue. We need raw cash to develop our under-developed economy, and you’re rather talking about sense of shame. Can we eat shame? Our leaders are daily patrolling the streets of Asia, Europe and America with begging bowls and you did not talk about sense of shame to them. In the name of developing our tourism potentials, we have turn ourselves into the world’s harlot. Our dear land is now considered among the world’s tourism for sex destinations. Pedophiles and pederasts have free rein in our land and you’re sitting here maligning my brilliant proposition.

Sorry that you felt that way, but try and peddle your stuff someplace else.

About the Author

Femi Akomolafe is a passionate Pan-Africanist. A columnist for the Accra-based Daily Dispatch newspaper and Correspondent for the New African magazine. Femi lives in both Europe and Africa, and writes regularly on Africa-related issues for various newspapers and magazines.

Femi was the producer of the FOCUS ON AFRICANS TV Interview programme for the MultiTV Station.

He is also the CEO of Alaye Dot Biz Limited Dot Biz, a Kasoa-based Multimedia organisation that specialises in Audio and Video Production. He loves to shoot and edit video documentaries.

His highly-acclaimed books (“Africa: Destroyed by the gods,” “Africa: It shall be well,” “18 African Fables & Moonlight Stories” and “Ghana: Basic Facts + More”) are now available for sales at the following bookshops/offices:

  1. Freedom Bookshop, near Apollo Theatre, Accra.
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  3. WEB Dubois Pan-African Centre, Accra
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  5. African Kitchen in Amsterdam Bijlmer

Where to buy them online:

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Africa: Destroyed by the gods

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Femi Akomolafe




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