Friday, 15 July 2016

#GhanaStandsWithNice&France!


The latest terrorist attack in the French Reviera city of Nice yesterday has horrified and saddened scores of people across the globe. It is the third major terrorist attack on France this year.

It was an unspeakable and unpardonable act of cruelty, and a heinous crime against humanity that saw an unhinged terrorist ploughing through a Nice street crowd, which was celebrating Bastille Day, with a truck.

He  shot a number of people dead whiles mowing down and injuring others in the deadly attack on innocents out celebrating a French national holiday. He apparently also had a fake grenade and replica guns in the cab of the truck.

Yesterday's deranged act of terror in Nice demonstrates clearly the threat that terrorists continue to pose to humankind in general.

That such a tragedy - in which 88 innocent people were killed in horrific fashion with 202 others sustaining  various degrees of injury - could occur is troubling. It confirms what those who insist that preventing all terrorist attacks is simply not feasible, say.

The attacker, Mohamed Lahouaeij-Bouhlel,  a French citizen of Tunisian descent, was shot dead by police to bring his murderous rampage with the 19-tonne truck to an end.

It would appear that in a sense we must all begin to see ourselves as potential victims of extremists from around the world, with the capability of leveraging a global network of unhinged extremist individuals, who are ready and willing to commit acts of terror, in virtually every part of the one biosphere that humankind shares with plants, animals and other life forms.

Clearly,  humankind now finds itself living in an age of global terrorism - and no one can be completely safe from random acts of terror: no matter which part of the planet Earth he or she resides in.

In light of that new reality, it is important that as one of the arrowhead security organisations at the frontline of Ghana's war against global terrorism, the Ghana Police Service is properly resourced urgently.

A key aspect of ensuring that the Ghana Police Service is  well-resourced is to motivate the men and women - who put their lives on the line every day, in order to ensure public safety countrywide, and in countering the threat posed by terrorists to Ghana - by improving their conditions of service to bring it up to par with that of our military.

We ought to stop regarding the Ghana Police Service as a poor relation of the Ghana Armed Forces, and instead see both security agencies as equal partners,  tasked to ensure the safety of the Republic of Ghana and all its  citizens, at all material times.

At the very least, the men and women who serve in both those frontline security agencies must both enjoy the same pay scales, allowances and retirement benefits - for, today, in the age of global terrorism, they both share the same risks involved in protecting their nation and its people.

Perhaps the most sensible way to proceed might be to transform the police into a paramilitary force and change its name to the Ghana Police Force, with military ranks for the men and women who serve Mother Ghana, in police uniforms.

Finally, we are sure we speak for all Ghanaians, when this blog says to the residents of the city of Nice in particular, and the entire population of France in general, in solidarity with them: We share your pain.

Furthermore, the people of Ghana embrace all the people of France and link arms with them in solidarity against those who perpetrate abominable and unspeakable acts of terror in their attempt to subjugate all of humankind through fear.

France has been a generous partner in Ghana's development for decades now, and we mourn with the all people of France, who are yet again having to prepare to  bury another group of innocent French citizens murdered in cold blood by an act of terrorism. We stand with the French people in their moment of grief.

Our hearts go out to all those who lost their loved ones in this senseless and cowardly act of terrorism. May the souls of their loved ones rest in peace.

One cannot possibly begin to imagine the nightmarish last-breadth-moments,  which must have been marked by the most intense of fears, that the 88 victims who died probably experienced.

The 202 who were injured but nonetheless survived that senseless act of terrorism will probably relive those frightening few minutes periodically for the rest of their natural lives.

Ghanaians pray for strength to cope with a sad and terrible loss, for all the friends and relations of those departed innocents, whose lives were so tragically cut short in Nice yesterday.

What is most unfair about such tragedies,  is that a few mad individuals can rob so many innocent people of their lives, in these senseless and cowardly terrorist attacks.

The Nice Bastille Day massacre will neither cow France nor intimidate the rest of  humankind. In the end the human spirit will doubtless triumph over the evil that is terrorism.Terrorists will never subjugate humankind. Ever. #GhanaStandsWithNice&France!
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