Editorial: Guns in the wrong hands


Parents and guardians of the Islamic Senior High School in Kumasi were hit with bad news as 30 students were reported to have been hospitalised after demonstrating over incessant vehicular knockdowns in front of their school.

Reports indicated that the police team sent to control the crowd and ensure that calm is restored to the school, rather used tear gas on the demonstrating students and injured about 30 of them.

The Chronicle is aware that some of the students have recovered and have gone back to school, while others are still nursing their wounds at the hospital.

We are also in the know that the Inspector General of Police, Mr. George Akuffo Dampare, has launched an investigation into the incident and has interdicted some of the policemen who engaged in the heinous act.

Despite the positive steps taken by the IGP since his appointment and his desire to inject some level of professionalism into the police service, The Chronicle is appalled by the way some of his officers become trigger happy at the least provocation, and we ask whether the guns are in the wrong hands?

It looks as if our police these days are trigger-happy and they shoot at the slightest provocation without taking into consideration what, who and where they are shooting.

In February this year, at Lameshegu in the Northern Region, a 24-year old man lost his life with several others injured in a case of unprofessional shooting by the police.

The incident happened when a young man who was being pursued by the police dashed into the Lamashe-Naa’s palace to avoid being apprehended by security personnel. The youth pelted stones at the Police who in turn fired gunshots to disperse the crowd.

We believe that there are steps in managing crowds and the shooting can only be done when every other means, including use of minimal force, have been exhausted.

The habit of police men firing at the least provocation is becoming way too many and may give credence to reports about the mode of security service recruitment these days.

Many people have asserted that rogues in the security services are a product of unqualified people recruited, base on political party affiliations.

People believe that because these rogues do not qualify to enter the service and that some of them do not even go through the rigorous training that their more professional counterparts are taken through.

But if the police will want to deny this assertion as it has been doing over the years and argue that their guns are indeed in the right hands, then the problem will be what Dr. Ishmael Norman, the Chief Executive Officer of Institute for Security, Disaster and Emergency Studies intimated some months ago.

Dr. Norman said the police is using the wrong format for crowd control. If this is the situation, then we are calling on the IGP to act swiftly to ensure that these brutalities are halted, by changing the methods being employed in crowd control.

This country cannot continue to lose lives as a result of police unprofessionalism.


Kingsley Agyemang promotes education in Abuakwa South

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