The greatest security threat facing Ghanaians today is not external, but internal. If you have been following closely the heinous things happening in our country, you will know clearly that criminals and potential terrorists are no longer afraid of Ghana.
Residents of the country are now leaving in total fear. Business [ads1]activities are constantly being affected. Meanwhile, Ghanaians have been enduring serious economic and social problems. To add to their woes, the country has now been infested with dangerous armed robbers of all shades. These armed robbers who use sophisticated weapons have become so daring that they operate even in broad daylight, displaying total disregard for the police and other law enforcement agencies in the country.
Our security men and women who are supposed to protect us, are themselves not being protected. For lack of logistics, some of them design for themselves bulletproof made of polythene bags. This is not a funny matter.
It is not uncommon to receive a phone call or text message from friends or relatives lamenting about an armed robbery situation in their area.
Just recently, it was in the news that a group of armed men attacked the Kwabenya Atomic Hills Police Station, killing one police inspector, Insp. Asilevi, in the process and freed seven prisoners who were in police custody.
The Delta Force group affiliated to the ruling New patriotic Party (NPP) also on April 6, 2017 stormed a Circuit Court and freed its members who were on trial for attacking a government appointee on March 24, 2017. They also destroyed some court properties in the process.
These acts are constantly undermining the sovereignty of our security system hence tarnishing the image of our dear country as a model of democracy and the rule of law in Africa.
Last year, a very fine and promising military officer, Capt. Maxwell Mahama, who was deployed to serve at Diaso in the Central Region was lynched and burnt by the youth and galamseyers of Denkyira Obuasi claiming they mistook him for an armed robber.
Barely a few months ago, a Police Officer, Michael Kporye, was also shot in the face and in the chest at Tulaku near Michel Camp, in the Greater Accra Region. Not too far from that, another suspected armed robbers shot and wounded a Police Officer at Akwansrem in the Ashanti Region.
A few weeks later, Lance Corporal Kwaku Mensah, who was stationed at Anwiankwanta in the Bekwai Municipality, also sustained several gunshot wounds when gunmen attacked the vehicle he was traveling on.
In fact, from the villages to the cities, armed robbers are everywhere attacking people, raping, robbing and killing them, even in broad daylight.
On Tuesday 27th February, 2018, Royal Motors, an automobile company in Accra, was attacked by a group of armed robbers making away with the company’s sales in a stunning daylight robbery.
In less than 24hrs from this act, a Lebanese businessman was also shot dead shortly after he went to withdraw cash from the Bank at Tema Industrial Area on Wednesday morning. It was told that the gun wielding men took away Ghc 200,000.00 from the Lebanese.
This is getting serious and we must do politics with it. On several occasions, I asked myself and others whether the government is really aware of all these heinous operations taking place by armed robbers in the country?
If yes, what are they doing about it to ensure our safety? Are they waiting for the gunmen to storm the Flagstaff House and take our President away before we know that things are actually apart or we are unconcerned?
Speaking frankly, Ghana, which used to be a country of pride and a place of peace in West Africa, is now earning a bad name because of the activities of these armed robbers. Their activities have compelled many residents including our security men and women to live in fear.
You see, our security system had some weaknesses earlier but the criminals were afraid and did not know that. But the activities of the Invisible and Delta forces of the ruling New Patriotic Party has undermined the authority of the court and exposed the police service and the other law enforcement agencies as weak institutions.
Forty-six Ghanaian police personnel keeping peace in South Sudan under a United Nations (UN) mandate have been sent back home for allegedly sexually exploiting internally displaced women under their protection. Can you imagine?
Now, the criminals know they can use sex, money etc to lure the police and get away with anything they want.
What is democracy, economic wealth or free education if we cannot be safe in our own country, or even live in our own homes, and workplaces without fear? This is a national emergency which calls for a first class action.
It is said that the devil finds work for an idle man. I will appeal to the government, the Nana Akufo Addo administration, to create jobs and adsorb many of the roaming youths who have resorted to armed robbery as a last resort to earn a living.
One would realize that when the youths were actively involved in galamsey, okada riding, etc, crime rates drastically came down even though some of the lazy ones resorted to duping people from their mobile money wallets.
I do not want to talk about the criminal Nigerians in our country. Many of them are jobless, they are neither students nor business men or women. You would wonder what exactly they are doing here in Ghana but they are the people driving in expensive cars in town and living in the most expensive apartments in the cities. Nobody cares to know the source of their income.
Many of our Ghanaian brothers and sisters who have also completed the universities are jobless. They are ready for the job market but the senior minister says the public sector is choked. Meanwhile, government officials have managed to secure jobs for their families and friends.
In actual fact, there are so many job vacancies out there that the government can recruit and engage people to work but I think they just want cheap labour instead of a competent and a quality workforce. No wonder they are always flown outside Ghana for medical treatment and checkups.
Look, when you take our hospital laboratories for example, there are so many laboratory professionals with licenses to work but for over 5years now, the allied health professionals including the Medical Laboratory Scientists have been relegated from job placements under the health ministry.
Since 2011, Medical Laboratory Scientists have not been cleared or posted to work. Meanwhile, these people provide essential health care services. h
Hospital laboratories across the country are in dire need of staff. These certified professionals are needed there to provide reliable health care services to the Ghanaian people but are not being posted, for unknown reasons.
Patients go to the hospital and waste so much time at the lab waiting for results, just because only few staffs are on the job attending to the numerous clients who visit the health facilities. The Ghanaian doctor is however left with no option than to look at your eyes, check your palm, and feel your temperature, and say you have malaria. Quickly, he prescribes some paracetamol for you and say go and come another day for review. On what diagnosis does he prescribe the drug? Do know that some of those drugs are dangerous to your health?
Look, in this modern world of evidence based medicine, what can the doctor do without the lab? No wonder our death rate is constantly soaring. Nobody cares to know why.
I know for sure that there are so many other professionals in a similar situation. What do you think all these people would depend on for a living? Don’t they have families that eat? Do you know that a lot of money has been spent on their education? Do you also know that some of them have even attended school on loans. Why won’t crime rates increase when many of our graduates have nothing to do?
Until government finds job for the idle youths, and stop politicising everything, our security system in Ghana will continue to get weak. The intelligence being used by the robbers now is getting sophisticated very soon, nobody would be safe.
If I were President Nana Akufo Addo, I would have thanked the erstwhile President John Mahama for cancelling allowances at the various colleges.
Instead of coming to restore the allowances, I would have paid National Service Personnel better. I would have doubled, or tripled what they are currently taking. By so doing, the youths would have saved enough to start doing their own businesses during or after national service.
The current system is only favoring a selected group of the youths to the disadvantage of the others. Meanwhile, nobody is growing young. Each one of us increase in our responsibilities with increasing ages.
Ironically, the very people who receive allowances while in school are rather the people the government readily employes after school and the people who rather hustle throughout their education, do not get jobs to do after school. Some of them are even on loans they have to pay. Are we all not Ghanaians?
When they see their classmates who are favored to be living better lives after school, what do you think will come into their heads? A word to the wise, is enough. Let us all be concerned and find ways to make our country better again. Thank you.
Cephas K. Akortor
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