Crime, Politics And National Security

By Anthony Kwaku

Martin Amidu, Interior Minister (left), Gbevlo Lartey, Nat. Security Coordinator (right)

Though not an expert on issues of crime, politics, and national security to enable me interrogate this topic in much detail, my close links and dealings with the media have given me some background to make a brief comment on the topic, in relation to contemporary Ghanaian society.

In fact, what really pricks me to coin this topic, and try to dilate on it, is the current brouhaha that has to do with armed crimes in our dear nation, as Party ‘A’ blames Party ‘B’ for promoting the dastardly acts, and Party ‘B’ also blaming Party ‘A’ for negligence and vice versa.

The question one may ask, following all this political tug-of-war that has rocked our body politic and media landscape, is, for what reason should issues of crime be politicized, and what will be the future implication(s) of this situation on our national security?

The politicisation of crimes, and allied offences such as human rights abuses, which is overtly demonstrated by our contemporary politicians, has actually made the neutral role of some of our security agencies, such as the Ghana Police Service, in combating crimes difficult.

And currently, the Ghana Prisons Service has also not been spared of heavy doses of attack and criticism, following certain jail breaks by some convicts that have recently occurred.

I think so far, it is only the military that I am yet to hear of any open attack on them for political bias, in exception of a recent allegation of tribalism within the service by a section of the print media.

The Ghana National Fire Service is also receiving its share of the blame, as far as the almost daily fire disasters going on in the country are concerned.

The Ghana Customs Excise and Preventive Service and Immigration Service were great beneficiaries of most blames that had to do with the alleged cocaine trade that unfortunately, hit the erstwhile Kufuor-led New Patriotic party (NPP) government.

The issue was heavily politicised, as some even accused the then government of having a hand in the illicit business. But, the question still goes.

In the midst of all the politicisation that might have also contributed to the booting out of power of the NPP government, can we say for sure that cases of the cocaine trade are no more with us today?

My cause of worry is that should we continue to allow ourselves to be disturbed by unnecessary politicisation of criminal and human rights issues, I cannot fathom how the security of this nation will look like a few years from now.

As a layman in security matters, and an organism that fears delving into matters of security, the little I can say is that, as citizens, we have to be mindful of our utterances and comments, so that we do not succeed in inflaming passions and creating fear and panic among people.

It is against this background that I support a section of the citizenry that appeals to the media to be circumspect in its reportage, and be devoid of politics that can incite them to be biased.

My humble appeal also, goes to politicians who concoct stories and events against their opponents, just to score cheap political points at the expense of national peace and security.

If for anything at all, our sweat should be on how to help the security agencies, and other crime and human rights abuse combaters, carry out their functions effectively and efficiently.

This is neither time to bring back the politics of dead bodies and cocaine trade, or allow the dirty debates on fire outbreaks and insults currently going on, to derail us from deliberating and pursuing our development agenda, considering the closeness of the target period slated for the realisation of the Millennium Development Goals.

Let us all embrace the spirit of hard work, commitment and dedication to acceptable work, and learn to smoke the pipe of peace, unity, and human feeling, which are useful ingredients for national growth and development.

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