The abuse of human rights has long bedeviled the Ghanaian.
Criminal practices continue to be perpetrated by both foreign
and local elements. Of explicit memory was the case of an
African American, who married a local girl and put her up at
Adenta some sixteen years ago. He brought upon her grave
abuse, which was reported, but did not go viral because there
was no social media at the time (or that he was American).
In one of his effusions, he was said to have told her to
remember that she was the child of slaves, ironically,
forgetting his roots were from this beautiful continent called
There was also the case of a Chinese person who made an employee
lick back his own spit because he spat on the factory floor.
But we did not agitate, why?
HOW CRIMINAL and HEINOUS!
I was deranged to hear of a rather bizarre incident at the Labadi
branchof Marwako. It was alleged that a foreigner managing the
place shoved the face of a lady employee in fresh ground pepper
for ten minutes, and locked her up in a room for over six hours.
Something must have happened, but my colleague media
practitioners should have been more professional and circumspect
with their reportage in their zeal to fight injustice.
Professional media houses like Peace fm and citi fm to whom I doff
my hat, should have heard the other side of the story instead of
starting a crisis for a local business company with over four hundred
employees. One couldn’t stand ten seconds in pepper much less 600
seconds (10 minutes). Besides, Ghanaians will never stand aloof and
watch such gross abuse of human rights take place before their very
eyes. So I would have thought that responsible reporting might have
done this case a lot of good such that justice would be obtained for all.
In light of the revelations, it so turned out that the culprit splashed the
ground pepper into a bowl and some jettisoned onto the victim’s face.
Yes, he was foolishly and unnecessarily angry but to have locked her up
in a room for well over six hours without treatment would have killed the
So my brethren, it is a matter of reasoning. There is no doubt in my mind
that the girl needs to be compensated appropriately and the culprit
However, all said and done, having noticed the backlash of
unprecedented xenophobic rhetoric against Lebanese and
foreigners in general, it is the civil responsibility of every citizen
to understand that we do not wish a second South Africa in our
country. As we fight foreign authorities to save the lives
of Ghanaians abroad, we must also endeavour to be fair
to foreigners in our land.
There is no doubt that singular and isolated incidents of abuse do
happen, and when they do, no particular race must be punished
collectively for such individual cases. Why must a whole race be
punished for a singular incident of this nature? Lebanese have
been in Ghana for well over one hundred and fifty years.
Some even toiled with their local brethren in the Ghanaian
fight for independence, so must such a rich history of
inter-racial coexistence be jeopardized because of the
criminal folly of one individual?
Calling for the boycotting of Marwako is tantamount to destroying the
livelihoods of over 400 employees of that fast food chain. These people
are paid and well catered for. For what it is worth, it is as criminal as
the isolated acts of abuse that we kick against to begin a boycott
campaign against Marwako. On the night of March 5, I stopped by
the Abelenkpe branch of Marwako to satisfy my grumbling belly.
Lo and behold, four thugs on bikes pulled up to the side of the building
and rushed into the restaurant. They ransacked the place, struck the tall
chicken grill with a chair, and tried to make away with the cash register.
As they did that, they hurled many xenophobic abuses until they were
accosted by the security and some workers of the branch, who got
beaten up in the process, too. Is that the kind of mob justice
we journalists want to hype?
My colleague media folks, is this the line we want to tow as Ghana
celebrates her 60th Independence anniversary?
Never shall the days of undignified assault return to our dear country.
We will never allow that we be tormented in our own country, but we
must also never allow ourselves to torment foreigners who have been
at peace with us for over one and half centuries due to the singular
and individual act of a raging brute.
Let us diffuse this unnecessary tension as the victim seeks legal redress.
We call on the Police to investigate this matter fair and square. We also
demand of the Ghana Immigration Service to revoke the permit of the
assailant and tag him as “Persona non Grata”.
Convener, Alert Ghana
Cc: All media Houses LMVCA
Ghana Must Know Forum
All Civil Society Groups