Legend has it that in the wake of the broad-daylight assassination of the much-beloved President John Fitzgerald Kennedy, the then-National Spokesperson of the Elijah Muhammed-led Nation of Islam (NOI), Minister Malcolm X, had told the mainstream American media, upon being specifically asked for his reaction to this brutal murder, that: “This is a classical case of the chickens come home to roost.”
That was on or about November 22, 1963. Malcolm would be promptly and indefinitely suspended from the Nation of Islam, for reasons alleged to have been related to the fear of the NOI’s being targeted by the FBI for harassment and persecution. Mr. Muhammed’s right-hand man would be savagely felled by a hail of bullets on February 21, 1965, less than two years after the assassination of President Kennedy.
What inspired this column on this January 15 birthday anniversary commemoration of another brutally slain American leader, to wit, the Rev.-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., which is also being observed as a National Holiday, is the fact that all three violent deaths, unmistakably, had everything to do with America’s national security. Dr. King, who had publicly and bitterly decried the murder of his most ardent rival but fellow Human and Civil Rights activist, would himself be brutally felled by the assassin’s bullets just a little over three years later.
Both of these two African-American leaders were 39 years old. Malcolm would later say that he had made his “chickens come home to roost” comment not in a callous bid to celebrating or jubilating over the death of President Kennedy, but to critically underscore the glaring fact that the Kennedy Administration had not seemed to be adequately concerned about the high spate of violence ravaging the country, especially violence generated by the coercive apparatuses of the State against the country’s civilian population, particularly members of the minority African-American Community.
I find the preceding to be extremely relevant to the news of the brutal shooting death of Sgt. George Boakye, a Ghana Armed Forces’ soldier officially attached to the Flagstaff House or the Akufo-Addo Presidency, by some unidentified men believed to be armed robbers in the Sakumono-Community 19 area of the Accra-Tema metropolis, on Friday, January 12 at 11 p.m. (See “Shot Flagstaff House Soldier Dead – GAF” Classfmonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 1/15/18).
I picked up this brief news item for commentary because ever since Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo assumed the democratic reins of governance on January 7, 2017, there has been a huge wave of national outcry over the wildly perceived worsening security situation in the country. And, by the way, Sgt. Boakye is reported to have alighted from the Toyota Land Cruiser in which he was driving west, towards Accra, when he decided to pass water, or urinate, by the highway, whereupon he was pounced upon by the aforesaid armed thugs who appeared to be more interested in snatching away his vehicle than attacking his person. Some passersby, we are told, had phoned in the police. Sgt. Boakye would shortly be pronounced dead at the 37th Military Hospital. His vehicle was also reportedly crashed and abandoned by the killers a short way off.
We learn a few lessons here. First of all, the slain junior army officer must have felt naively or even foolishly safe to have so casually presumed that he could stop his vehicle at just about any random, isolated spot on the Accra-Tema Highway to take a leak, as New Yorkers are wont to say. But, of course, the latter act of convenience also tells us enough about the generally poor sanitation situation in the country, and the dire need for the construction of places of convenience, possibly near safe and conveniently located gas/filling stations along our highways.
Then also, we learn that the Toyota Land Cruiser continues to be the vehicle of choice for both armed bandits and highly placed and highly connected politicians and government officials. But, Mr. President, most important of all, these killer bandits are also loudly and clearly talking to you, when they so fearlessly and savagely snuff the life out of one of your own security personnel. That these killer armed robbers likely did not know about Sgt. Boakye’s connection to your Presidency is well beside the point. Simply don’t let the “chickens come home to roost” on you. For then, it would be too late.
We are also told that Sgt. Boakye left his weapon inside his SUV, when he allegedly got out to pass water. Which also tells us that oftentimes, the weapons that we carry around with us can only give us a false sense of security. Mr. President, take charge!
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