The name Ayi Ayittey, aka Ataa Ayi, evokes fear in many residents of Accra and reminds some families about the pain the convict inflicted on them when he was in the outside world.
His ostensible repentance was as sensational as it was incredible. It was unsurprising therefore that it made the headlines yesterday and prompted humorous discussions in various circles.
Were it possible to set up a ministry in prison, the convict would have thought of setting up one, we think.
Media outlets used the story only because it provided the comic relief needed during these testy times in our country and not because it contained an iota of sincerity. Killers do not repent so easily after spilling so much innocent blood and raping many victims.
Armed robbery, laced with murder and rape, can never be crimes easily forgiven and forgotten. When Ataa Ayi straddled the underworld like a Colossus, law enforcement agents scratched their heads continuously in search of an effective module to track down the elusive yet ubiquitous killer.
Before they finally had him on their sights he had wreaked so much havoc to lives and families that for some confining him to the four walls of the prison is not punishment enough. But that is the law. We can only watch him serve his term of over a century in prison. If he is able to live long enough to be released from prison, that is his luck.
We would however, not be bought over by his sudden decision to pick up the Bible and embark upon an evangelistic mission in prison.
In fact, using religion – Christianity – to hoodwink as it were, the people he tormented for so long sounds suspicious.
Let him keep his new faith to himself and allow us to undergo the process of healing after the nightmare which characterised his active days as a daredevil armed robber marauding the nation’s capital and training others in the bloody occupation.
We detest any move that seeks to get people to forgive Ataa Ayi for his killer day and night missions. They are too fresh to be forgotten.
Mr Mark Woyongo, the Minister for the Interior, might have been so convinced about a Holy Bible-clutching Atta Ayi’s copious quotation from the Books of Ecclesiastics and Revelation that he has assured the ‘convict pastor’ about a possible presidential pardon if he (Ataa Ayi) shows good conduct including perhaps, the evangelisation in prison. It is too generous an offer to be presented to a killer.
The seeming consistence in our anti-Atta Ayi stance is informed by a reliable statistics about how hardened criminals easily return to their bad old days upon their release from prison.
Let Atta Ayi and those exhibiting his killer traits rot in prison. They have called the tune and must be allowed to dance to it uninterrupted.
Source: Editorial/Daily Guide
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