General News of Thursday, 31 December 2015
The Director in Charge of the Small and Light Weapons programme at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre, KAIPKC, John M. Pokoo has cautioned against the rush in some people linking the seizure of arms in recent times to attempts to destabilize Ghana in the upcoming 2016 elections.
According to him, the country’s security agencies must be thorough in the investigation of each case of seizure of arms and put it in its right perspective.
His admonishing comes in the wake of the arrest of a large cache of arms and ammunition in less than a month.
A vehicle with over one million packs of short cartridges or bullets were impounded by customs officials at the Aflao border in the Volta region on Monday.
According to officials, the same vehicle has made about six entries into Ghana per the records, and it is feared the same items were being cart into the country from either Nigeria or Togo.
This arrest comes few weeks after the Manhyia Divisional Police Command in the Ashanti region retrieved guns with ammunitions from a house at Alabar, a suburb of Kumasi.
The guns included AK47 and machine guns.
According to media reports, the Police upon a tip off stormed the house and arrested the individuals in charge of the weapons.
The successive seizures of the large numbers of arms have heightened fears among the public that the weapons were being imported into the country by some powerful persons to destabilize the country should the 2016 election not go in their favour.
However speaking on TV News, Mr Pokoo stated that further investigations will have to be conducted before such a conclusion is arrived at.
“Ghana as a country is a useful hub for both legal and illicit transaction, all sorts of legal and illegal things pass through to various destinations. So one cannot be conclusive that the Kumasi arrest of the weapons and arms was meant to destabilize the country. Let us wait until the investigations report is out.”
He added: “We’re told that the Ivorian man who was arrested while trying to transport the arms had been living in Kumasi for a while. We need to be cautious because once we begin to involve other countries; we’re also muddying our relationship with them. We deal with other countries on a wide range of issues and not only the control of small arms, so let us allow the investigative agencies to do their work.”