When Politicians Take Over Prisons

The 10-day jail-term slapped on Mr. Ken Kuranchie is mired in politics, as government officials pull strings to teach the gentleman a bitter lesson. If the obnoxious shuttling about is intended to break him down, those behind it all may have to return to the drawing board. It is part of a political mischief that satisfies the sadistic interests of persons at the helm of affairs, with a willing Ghana Prisons Service at their beck and call. Politicians, it is said, learn nothing from the abundant lessons of history. It is a herculean challenge making sense out of such reckless shuttling by a Ghana Prisons Service constantly nagging about inadequate funding to feed inmates of the holding facilities. However, when it comes to obtaining fuel at the expense of the public purse for such state-authorised dirty operations, there is no shortage of the resource. Although a highly-prized prisoner in the custody of the prison authorities and susceptible to the machinations of bad politicians at the helm, Ken Kuranchie is neither a murderer nor an armed robber. We are lost for words, therefore, as to why the prison authorities would be so consumed by an obsession to inflict punishment beyond the imprisonment ordered by the Supreme Court. Referring to so-called safety reasons behind the action is inconsistent with logic and we would rather the prison authorities stop bandying the balderdash. Our security services have now become willing tools in the hands of politicians. They would do everything including falling over each other to please those in power regardless of the repercussions of such actions. It was consistent with their standards therefore when the Prisons PRO sought to equate Ken Kuranchie with Ataa Aryee when he reacted to a question as to the whereabouts of the imprisoned journalist. “Who knows where Ataa Aryee is?” was the silly response from the excited PRO as he sought to justify why the whereabouts of Ken Kuranchie is classified information. It is pitiable and shameful that such a drama is unfolding in a country which should have long outlived crude political machinations. We understand what it means to be tagged an opposition newspaper in a mischievously polarized country. While being apprehensive about the repercussions of the return of the culture of silence, we would be the last to cherish irresponsible treatment of issues such as the ongoing Supreme Court petition hearing. Let us therefore hasten slowly even as the Prisons Service is intent on joining hands with politicians to play it dirty. We are passing through strange times. Not even the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) can be counted upon to render a helping hand as they ironically go for the jugular of the media, as it were.