What If Major Mahama Had Shot His Attackers? How Was Hawa Koomson Ever Wrong?
On Friday, November 1, 1985, a boy child was born, the first of three children, to Captain Dennis Mahama and Madam Veronica Bamford in Bole. He was named Maxwell Adam Mahama. On Monday May 9, 2017, under six months to his thirty-second birthday, the young and brilliant Maxwell, now a Captain in the Ghana Armed Forces, met his untimely death.
He was a detachment Commander of a military operation in Denkyira Obuasi to stop illegal mining. That morning he was taking his usual walk when indigenes of the town descended on him and lynched him.
We were made to understand that he carried firearm on him, but never pulled the trigger to either save his life or go down with as many of his assailants as possible. In a glowing tribute to him, Vice President Bawumia spoke about how Mahama upheld his oath to protect the lives of Ghanaians right down to his grave by not shooting any of his assailants. He was promoted to the rank of Major posthumously by President Akufo-Addo on Monday June 5, 2017.
Major Maxwell Mahama is now a national hero with his statue erected at the busy round-about which links the Burma Camp bye-pass, Airport Hills Estate, the over-pass to the Spintex Road, and the Road to Tse-Addo in the capital. He is now counted among the “gods” adding up to the few national heroes whose edifices adorn our capital.
Maxwell Mahama stands out as a hero, not for fighting for freedom, or leading this country or his tribe, but like the slain justices who were institutionally murdered on Wednesday June 30, 1982, by an order from Cabinet; he was killed for doing the right thing for this country. He did his bit by preventing the degradation of our natural and mineral resources, and in the process, he died, died sparing lives.
The main question is what would have happened if Maxwell Mahama had decided to put into practice what he had been trained for as a military man? Picking out his loaded pistol and shooting people to death to give him a smooth getaway, and coming back with reinforcement to finish off what he had started. Yes, what would have happened?
We will surely call for his head and demand to know why he decided to go for a walk in the first place and even alone for that matter. We would have concocted stories like he was after a woman whose husband got mad and attacked him, or he got into an illegal gold deal which went bad.
Calls would be made to immediately put him before the court, where, hopefully, he will be pronounced guilty as charged, because if the court cleared him, we would condemn our justice system. So, in the end, he would be de-listed from the Ghana Armed Forces and be disgracefully stripped off his rank, coming out as Mr Maxwell Adam Mahama to spend time in jail if he is lucky to escape the death sentence. Out of prison he may start operating a blue kiosk drinking bar for a living.
If Mahama had fired a shot, he and his family would be social rejects, and politicians will link him to John Mahama, who, together with the National Democratic Congress (NDC), will deny having any links with him. The brave people of Denkyira Obuasi would be national heroes, and the town will become a tourist site, where many who will want to go and see the people who stood up against armed thugs doubling as military men. These and many more would have happened if Major Maxwell Adam Mahama had fired a shot.
He did not fire a single shot, which many uniformed men and women, to this day, do not understand why. In the end, his beautiful wife became a widow at a youthful age; his children lost him, and could not fully enjoy his fatherhood, and his parents had to bury their child instead of the other way round, all because he did not fire a shot.
Just a week ago, on Monday July 20, 2020, a Minister of State and Member of Parliament (MP) for Awutu Senya East Constituency, Hon Hawa Koomson, was confronted with a similar situation, when she was faced with a mob, some on motorbikes, putting what she called her people’s lives and her own life in danger at a polling station in her constituency. Reports, she gathered, were that people had been bused from far away Nsawam and Gomoa East by the NDC to register in a constituency which was not their home, nor ordinary place of residence. And this violated our electoral laws.
Hawa Koomson then pulled a trigger and fired warning shots to scare off the attackers. And today, everybody seems to be on her with condemnations, and, of course, the suspect in that illegal electoral practice, the NDC, is calling for her dismissal from office and persecution.
Would Hawa be made a hero if in her course of righting wrongs she got killed by the invaders? Would Kasoa not be condemned as Denkyira Obuasi was, and would those who believed the Electoral Commission (EC) should not have compiled any new register, not blame her for all this?
Did I hear right, that her colleagues on both sides in the House have condemned her action? Okay, so they preferred she got killed like Mahama, and then they would be clad in black in full attendance at her funeral, reading glowing tributes about how she was the best MP in House, and how parliamentary work will never be the same without her, And with what happened to MP J.B. Danquah Adu, and now to Hawa, they will further push for their full protection. Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and the general public will wonder why Hawa did not learn from Mahama’s mistake and gun down a few of her attackers to save her life. In the end, her statue will adorn Kasoa and the driveway to Parliament will be named after her, “Hawa Koomson Drive,” how nice and appropriate!
By the way if the slain MP, J.B Danquah Adu, had killed his assailant who attacked him in his room, would he have been condemned for killing an innocent soul?
Instead of Ghanaians condemning the violation of electoral laws on the busing of non-residents to constituencies other than their own, we spend time condemning the reaction to that act of lawlessness.
What could possibly have happened to Major Mahama if he had shot his assailants can be seen happening to Hawa Koomson today, and she only fired a warning shot. So what if she shot to kill someone brandishing a sharp cutlass at her throat? This is Ghana for us all. “Hawa, stay safe and stay blessed.”
Hon Daniel Dugan
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect The Chronicle’s editorial stance