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SHORT STORIES

SECURITY WHIRLWIND (Corona Series, Episode 13)

We’ve been taught, we’ve been taught restraint and patience but we were also taught self care preceded them all. We’ve been taught, we’ve been taught to be smart, but the need for safety was taught before that lesson too. Everybody living through life knows how difficult it is to identify that thin line between restraint and self care. Because you and I know the sounds that come from some people’s crumb catchers can render humans mad. It is also difficult to get that very thin line between safety and smartness. You know we court danger at every duty post but you’ll write it off as the chances we took knowing we signed up as dummies to take deaths in place of the country but the pain you feel when hurt, is the same pain we feel when we hurt. No blood surpasses the other, it is only sacrifices that do and those who sacrifice deserve some privileges no matter how uncomfortable. And to be clear, democracy works best in public bigotry to bring some form of order, same cannot be said of the armed forces. Ever heard of do before complain?
When I was sent to Kumasi to help guard the streets in the lock down, I knew what I was up against. Especially around Aboabo. The youth there fear nothing, not even the camouflage and I anticipated initial conflicts but felt ready to handle the inevitable. My first day at post was scary. The directive clearly stated that essential workers and persons in emergency were the only ones allowed, but boys who needed to smoke and walk around aimlessly flooded my checkpoint, making it difficult for me to maintain order. I had to do something so I ordered them to kneel to serve as a deterrent to others but that went south. The boys got together and attacked me. There were four strong boys who started the attack, fear written on the faces of the others. But they joined in when they realized the boys fought me squarely and were overpowering me. So thirteen boys attacked me, with sticks and rods as the people looked on happy. Some used that opportunity to escape. I could hear a few stop o! You know these army people, they can come here and beat and kill people around here if you kill him. Have you forgotten… before a blow to my head blacked me out.
I woke up at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital. My head was heavily bandaged and spinning and my face was painfully swollen. It took me a while to remember what had transpired between the Boys Boys of Aboabo and myself. Yes, I am a newbie, an E-1 soldier. I so wanted to impress my supervisor by working flawlessly hard. The shame of my seventh posting dawned on me on my hospital bed and I cried, until I heard footsteps. I quickly wiped my tears and acted strong so the nurse would not find out about my messy emotional state. My supervisor and few comrades came to visit soon after that. I had to write a report and they helped me to do it. There had been few arrests made, I was told. They got some through the many videos circulating on social media about my sour encounter. Before they left, one of my comrades whispered in my left ear Joe, don’t think of becoming a Gone Elvis. These things happen sometimes. Yes, I thought of quitting or running away because of shame. I felt I couldn’t live anymore. Those videos would forever be a reminder of my failure. I sulked until my girlfriend visited. When I told her about my fears, I was surprised and impressed with what she said.
You can either let your encounter with those hooligans sink you or lift you to be better. You can’t change the past but you can definitely change the future. You’re not a bad soldier, I was shocked at how well you fought in those videos before you lost control. So enough with the self pity!
Yes, I know what you’re about to say, I’ve got me a great lady. I know I’m tall and fit, but emotionally, she is stronger and that is what attracts me about her. I decided to listen to radio on my phone in my private room. That was when I heard the media chewing me out, well, few supported me saying the people are not law abiding. Some claimed military men are bullies. We’ve bullied civilians for long and needed to face the music. Force the frog to drink too much water and it will shower you with its vomit one panelist emphatically said. How do most radio and television panelists get the force with which they speak? He could’ve gently asked them to go back, did he have to be macho about it? When you know you’re outnumbered, a soldier must find a point of understanding. If he wanted to be Major Mahama, then I’m sorry to say he woefully failed. Another claimed the military has been given too much power and liberty so have lost respect for others. But they didn’t know how I tried to convince those boys to go back to their homes, they probably didn’t know how I tried to educate them on the need for a lock down, because the videos circulating only began from when I tried to manage them by making them kneel so I could attend to others.
Military men are trained to be tough enough to even be sitting ducks to defend their nations should the need arise. The disdain of the people we sign our death warrants to protect is a threat to us. I know few of us are Ate-Ups who do not know how to bend the rules to suit situations but there are people who live rebellious if they know they could die any time their work demanded death from them? The hard training, the strict schedules, the harsh punishments, the Alpha Charlies coupled with strict adherence to rank respect and discipline, leave us no chance to be cuddly with the populace. I know I sound like I condone abuse but this is how I feel. Soldiers on duty respect citizens who stick to obeying rules and regulations and no matter how you look at it, instilling fear in some subjects is one of our tools to ensure discipline. Now I am still a convalescent. Suddenly, those who flouted the rules are heroes and I am the villain, I who was to help ensure that the partial lock down was a success. This is all thanks to the power changers, (and you see no proper embeds anymore) those who can make and unmake you, those who now mostly channel their power into making real workers villains and leaving most corrupt ones to walk free, the chaotic-human-tetephones; the media.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © April 27, 2020. Photo Credit: Google Pics

By amoafowaa

Just a simple Ghanaian trying to find the best in our society. I may be fun, I may be interesting, I may be funny, I may even be foolish or intelligent, but it is all based on the mood in which you find yourself. I believe our minds make us who we are. Know that, pain, no matter its 'unbearability', is transient. Unburden or delight yourself for a while in my writings please. And all corrections, advice and opinions are welcome. Know that you are the king, queen or royal on this blog. :)

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