General News of Tuesday, 14 March 2017
The Ghana Armed Forces must be used to “wipe out” armed robbers from Ghana, the Charismatic Bishops’ Conference has said in a communiqué.
The Ghana Armed Forces, the bishops said, “exist to protect and defend the citizens of Ghana from aggression, from invasion, from attacks and from enemies,” and, therefore, “If our nation cannot deal with armed robbery, how would we deal with the very serious threat of terrorism if it were to come to Ghana?”
“If armed robbery is not dealt with, the nation will be filled with armed individuals and increasingly become a more dangerous place to live in. How can students be rounded up in their room and be robbed on a regular basis in our universities? How can armed robbers enter hotel rooms in Obuasi, Koforidua, Accra and many other towns and rob and murder the clients? Ghana was never like this! We have real stories of these incidents.
“Ghana has been known as a peaceful nation, in which people freely went out at night and felt safe on the roads wherever they were. After 60 years that has changed. There are numerous incidents of robberies and rapes across the nation. We even know of a denomination that has had two of its pastors murdered in their homes in Accra and Kumasi by armed robbers.
“Armed robbery and the lack of safety are driving away tourists, investors and visitors to our nation. Today we are not faced with an invasion of Ghana by a foreign country, but we are faced with the invasion of the country by armed men within, who have attacked, raped, harassed, and murdered many people across the country. There is no region of Ghana that is safe from armed robbery. Students in universities cannot walk freely on campuses. Student hostels are routinely attacked on campuses.
“What is the use of an army if people do not feel safe in their own country? Why are we maintaining such an institution with tax payers money if it is not benefiting the nation? Let us be practical! It is not just the duty of the police. It is the duty of all Ghanaians including the Army, the Air Force and the Navy to ensure that Ghana is a safe place again. As other nations become unstable, all sorts of people will migrate to Ghana to find stability so we can never tell who is coming next. Be real! Be practical! If the government really cares about Ghana, it should deploy the Forces to make Ghana a safe place again,” the Bishops recommended.
“Release your helicopters, army vehicles, superior military equipment and the highly trained officers of the Ghana Armed forces to be involved with wiping out armed robbery. Use the intelligence community and the secret service to hunt for criminals. Put out wanted lists with pictures so that such people are apprehended. Give rewards to people who provide information on or turn in armed robbers. Provide telephone lines for people to report armed robbers. Go to well-known havens of armed robbery and snuff out the further breeding of armed robbers. Wipe out armed robbery from the highways. After 60 years of managing our own affairs, it should not be that buses need escorts to travel on certain roads during the day or at night,” the bishops suggested.