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“Jirapa-Dubai” Murder! - Why, o why?

My most recent visit to Jirapa was in 1997 on a Ghana-Armed-Forces Command and Staff-College field trip. I have therefore not seen the new “Jirapa Dubai” as the Royal Cosy Hills Hotel, Jirapa is called. However,from the detailed narration of the Joy FM Super-Morning-Show “quartet” presenters of Kojo Yankson, Mamavi Owusu-Aboagye, Winston Amoah and Raymond Acquah, it almost feels like I have been there. Indeed, I have on my agenda a visit to “JirapaDubai” as one of my projects on my next trip to the Upper-West Region.

So when I heard the shocking news of the suspected murder of the owner of “Jirapa Dubai” Eric Johnson on Sunday, 11 February 2024, I asked myself why, o why?Why should a businessman who has invested so much into bringing his people and hometown Jirapa to Ghana and the world meet such a fate?

Investigations

So far, the Police has arrested seven people. However, as investigations continue, speculations are rife that, the murder is chieftaincy-related. Until the death of former IGP Peter Tenganabang Nanfuri, he was the chief of Jirapa. Replacing him was acrimonious. Even though a successor was installed in 2023, the case is still in court as the aggrieved party is challenging it. It is against this backdrop that the speculation of premeditated murder is made, as investigations continue!

In my November 2022 article titled “Evil never wins,” part read as follows:

QUOTE

“On his Thursday, 17th November 2022 “Food for Thought” programme, Uncle Ebo Whyte stated that,while there are many good people in Ghana, they appear to reluctantly join the evil ones because evil-doers get away with their evil actions with impunity. He gave the example of driving or crawling in a queue while others overtake you on the shoulder of the road.

He did not quote Shakespeare’s Mark Anthony’sstatement that,

“The evil that men do, lives after them. The good is oft interred with their bones.”

However, he stated that, evil does not triumph in the final analysis. Evil never wins! He illustrated his point with a rather sad story which happened in Kumasi in the 1960s. 

A bank which was making heavy losses because of loan-repayment-defaults, decided to make a change in leadership. On his arrival in Kumasi, the new bank manager diagnosed that, those who owed most were the richest men who flaunted their wealth around. He gave them an ultimatum to either pay what they owed or be named and shamed. The defaulting rich men did all they could to influence him. Having failed with that, they asked the Head Office in Accra to withdraw him.

Because the manager was in Kumasi only temporarily, he left his family in Accra. He therefore worked late into the night before leaving for the bank’s Guest House where he stayed. One morning, Kumasi awoke to the news that, the bank manager had been killed and his body set ablaze in his car! Rumours were rife about a known bouncer of a cinema-house leading three men to perpetuate the crime. However, nobody was arrested and nobody was prosecuted.

Fast-forward

Over thirty years later, as the bouncer was dying slowly in hospital from an unknown disease, he made a confession like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth did in her “sleep-walking” scene in the play Macbeth! Walking in her sleep, she said “here is the smell of blood still. All the perfumes of Arabia will not sweeten this little hand. Oh, oh, oh!”

Having been contracted by the three richest men in Kumasi who owed the bank, the bouncer led a group of three young men to kill the manager on his way from the office late at night. He said all three men went mad before dying. As for the three rich men, they died of strange ailments after their businesses collapsed and sentenced them to poverty. Their children had all become junkies and beggars.

Uncle Ebo concluded saying, even though all the rich men, the bouncer and assassins escaped the law, they did not escape Nature’s justice. He added “evil never wins!”

Analysis

In the heat of the 1979/1981 coups, some people took the law into their own hands and killed innocent people. Indeed, there are reported cases of some settling personal scores by killing others.

While some are known to have died of strange disease, others are said to have gone mad, or both! For those who are alive, like the killers of the bank manager in Kumasi, they may have escaped the law! But they will never escape Nature’s justice. Even if they appear to live normal lives, one wonders how they sleep at night with their consciences, with the blood on their hands.”

UNQUOTE

The question one asks is why should human beings kill fellow humans just for power, given the chieftaincy speculation of the “Jirapa Dubai” murder? Perhaps, I had the answer in Uganda when I asked a colleague why their equivalent of the Daily Graphic routinely had screaming headlines of murder. He said;

“When human beings know they can get away with murder, they will murder with impunity! But if the know they will be killed for murder because the law works, they will not commit murder!”

One can only hope that, the murderers of Eric Johnson will be brought before the law for justice, and the image of “Jirapa Dubai” restored.

The rich men in Kumasi who committed murder as well as their accomplices all died miserable deaths, with their families disgraced permanently.

Martin Luther King said in 1968 that, “the arc of the moral universe might be long, but it still bends towards justice!”

Even if one escapes from the Law, Nature’s justice will catch up with one as it did in the Kumasi murderers of the Bank Manager!!

Evil does not triumph in the final analysis. In the end, evil never wins!

Leadership, lead by example! Fellow Ghanaians, WAKE UP!

 

Brig Gen Dan Frimpong (Rtd)

Former CEO, African Peace Support Trainers Association

Nairobi, Kenya

​Council Chairman Family Health University College,

Accra                                                                              

[email protected]