Editorial: Youth involvement in robbery cases alarming
The Ashanti Regional Police Command has arrested five young men suspected to be the armed robbers who attacked a bullion van that was transporting money at Fomena and gunned down the police officer detailed as an escort.
The five have been named as Bismark Owusu Ansah, 29, Azumah Titus, 23, Kofi Matthew, 24, Kojo Agyapong, 30 and Martin Teye, 26.
The police are, however, on a manhunt for the ring leader of this notorious gang, who has been identified as 22-year-old John Appiah, alias Omega, who is a Senior High School (SHS) graduate.
According to the police, the SHS graduate turned armed robber, is directly linked to some deadly robbery cases, including the recent gory one at Asesewa in the Eastern Region, where an ambulance conveying a woman in labour was attacked and the driver killed.
From official information, as put out by the police, the oldest person among the gang is Kojo Agyapong, who is 30 years, followed by Bismark Owusu Ansah, 29.
In fact, it is instructive to say that many of the armed robbers who have either been arrested or fallen in gun battles with the security forces in recent times are within this age bracket.
We, at The Chronicle are, therefore, alarmed by this very disturbing trend, because the youth to whom the future of the country belongs are supposed to be morally upright and serve as partners for today’s development.
Unfortunately, some of these same youth, who are supposed to take up the mantle of leadership in the near future, appear to have lost the cherished values and other cultural practices that identify us as a people.
Respect for the elderly, strict adherence to socio-cultural norms that were uniquely associated with the average Ghanaian in the past, seem to have given way to a more Westernised culture that sharply contrasts ours.
It is in the light of these that misplaced over exuberance, with young boys and girls becoming armed robbers, gangsterism, girlfriends getting stabbed by boyfriends and vice versa, are becoming just too rampant in recent times.
The impact of Globalisation and Westernisation are directly blamed for our current social vices and woes, and the larger Ghanaian society cannot be exonerated from blame, looking at the eminent dangers that stares us in the face.
It is a shame that in the typical Ghanaian society today, the good old adage – “a good name is better than riches” – has been sacrificed on the altar of greed.
This needless glorification of riches has, undoubtedly, led to the desire of many youths of today to get rich through any vulgar means in order to get celebrated in the society.
Presumably, it is in the wake of this that has given rise to the massive involvement of many youths in armed robbery cases across the country in recent times.
To be able to stem the rather disturbing tide, we at The Chronicle, would like to call on parents to intensify their roles and responsibilities and imbibe in their children high levels of discipline.
The Churches and Mosques also have a collective task to play if our quest to instill our cherished values into our youths, so as to reduce delinquency among the soon-to-be leaders of our great nation.
We also call on chiefs, queenmothers, stakeholders and other opinion leaders, as well as the government, to consider formulating a policy that would check the behaviours of the youths, especially their involvement in social vices.
It is our clarion call that corrupt politicians and other elite persons in society, who engage in corrupt dealings, must be made to face stiff punishment in order to make it unattractive, so that the youths would not entertain such thoughts.
We would like to call on the Financial Intelligence Unit of the Police CID to, as a matter of urgency, consider looking into how many of the youth of today become rich overnight by investigating their sources of income.
This, we believe, would be one sure way to check and ensure that the many youth who amass wealth by any means possible, would be stemmed and eradicated.