Securing the nation from criminals

The state of insecurity currently enveloping the conduct of national affairs is not the very best means of nurturing a prosperous nation.  For time immemorial, Ghanaians have prided ourselves as living in an oasis of peace in a very volatile sub-region. It looks like we are gradually losing this tag, as armed robbers are left loose on members of society.

The spate of armed robbery and the general insecurity it has generated in society is losing sleep for all hard-working Ghanaians. It puts the Government, especially, on notice to try harder. When President John Evans Atta-Mills swore the oath of office at his inauguration and promised to protect the citizens of this nation, he summed up his resolve to minimise incidents of robbery and its attendant insecurity in the Ghanaian community.

Armed robbery, he said to thunderous applause, would be a thing of the past under Atta-Mills Administration. Two years down the line, armed robbery is threatening to overwhelm the security services. It means that the problem is not responding to the treatment being prescribed by the two-year-old administration.

It means one of two things. Either the state is not providing the right resources, or that the Police Service has not got the sheer numbers to deal with the situation. Whatever is the case, The Chronicle would like to believe the state has a duty to wake up to its responsibilities. It is of prime importance to provide the tools, and the men and women to use them.

We do not believe 16,000 men and women, currently cited as the total number in the black uniform, would be able to police the whole society. There is room for more recruitment. We are of the view too that providing the tools and other logistics would help.

In the run-up to the 2008 Presidential and Legislative Elections, there were quite a number of games played on the population figures with police numbers. When the National Democratic Congress got the nod, after one of the tightest elections in the history of this nation, evidence seems to be pointing to the fact that most of the pledges on the campaign trail are threatening to become mere platform talk.

The security of the nation is serious business. We are of the view that the investor drumbeat, being sounded at the least opportunity, might not impress people with the resources to sink into the economy, if security could not be guaranteed.

While the authorities take a hard look at numbers and logistics, we would like to appeal to those leading the security machinery, not to be more interested in political policing. What we mean is that the police should not sit and be prompted only by the political leadership.

While we concede that in our part of the world, he who pays the piper calls the tune, it must dawn on the Inspector General of Police, the National Security Co-ordinator, and all those who try to keep the peace so that citizens could sleep with both eyes closed, not to wait on orders from politicians before doing what is right in society.

Ghana is limping badly, and with oil and gas about to be exploited in commercial quantity, there is the genuine fear that crime statistics would rise. Our security personnel ought to rise with it too.

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