Minority National Democratic Congress (NDC) in Parliament has called on President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to demonstrate leadership by announcing credible measures to address the menace of armed robberies and activities of militant groups in the country.
According to the minority, the President must stop fiddling with the issues and acknowledge the realities of violent crimes and acts of lawlessness that have reached very alarming proportions.
Ranking Member for Defence and Interior, Hon. James Agalga, who addressed the media on behalf of the Minority, urged President Akufo-Addo to lead by example and demonstrate seriousness in tackling the situation head-on.
He asserted that insecurity and breakdown of law and order whether real or perceived, does not promote good governance and economic development of the country.
He cited three aspects to the security situation in the country that he warned must be addressed as quickly as possible and these include: activities of militant groups nurtured by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the threat they pose to law and order and rule of law; the constant spate of attacks on police personnel and in some cases resulting in deaths; and the unbridled armed robberies across the length and breadth of the country.
Hon. Agalga revealed that in January alone over 89 violent armed robberies were recorded across the country and stressed that in Accra alone two occurred in North Industrial Area, one at Tema while dozens have been recorded in Oyibi.
These robberies, he said, recorded deaths as was the case of the Tema robbery.
He said, “Also in January this year, 4 people were killed in robbery attacks on 6 fuel stations in Tamale alone. In the same month, the Adoato-Adomanu branch of the SDA in the Ashanti Region was attacked by armed robbers during an all-night prayer session.”
“Last month, armed robbers reportedly tried to snatch a Police vehicle that was on patrol duties around Weija-Kasoa with three of the criminals shot dead. A couple of weeks ago, we also read of reports of masked armed robbers mounting a road block on the Ojobi-Gomoa Fetteh road, shooting and stripping passengers naked.”
Hon. Agalga noted that it is not just the frequency of the armed robberies that is disturbing but more notably the brazen conduct of the criminals.
He lamented that all these violent crimes are happening at a time when President Akufo-Addo has set up the most heavily-populated security architecture comprising a National Security Minister, Minister of State in Charge of National Security, Minister of interior, Minister of Defence, National Security Advisor, National Security Coordinator, Director of Presidential Security, inspector General of Police, Chief of Defence Staff, Director of BNI, Director of Defence intelligence, Director of Research Department among others.
According to him, the promise that Nana Akufo-Addo would change Ghana into a different place within one year if elected has been fulfilled because the new face of Ghana under President Akufo-addo is a heightened sense of lawlessness and general insecurity.
The Ranking Member stressed that Ghana under President Akufo-Addo is not a safe place to be while the President appears to care less about the criminal activities of pro NPP vigilante groups.
The NDC, he said, had cause to draw attention to acts of lawlessness perpetrated right under the nose of the NPP administration, a situation that portended danger for law and order and national security as a whole.
According to him, different terror groups affiliated to the NPP have perpetrated various acts of terror and lawlessness across the country including attacking police officers and persons nominated for position in districts.
He noted that calls were made to President Akufo-Addo to immediately disband and demobilize these groups operation under the NPP but the President took no action to stem the creeping lawlessness and insecurity.
“Instead, the President has rewarded them by integrating many of these criminal elements into national security.”
“In fact we are reliably informed that members of these militant groups have recently undergone training at a camp at Asutsuare belonging to the military.”
“We are further informed that the instructors include two South African mercenaries who were deported from the country in 2016 in the run up to the general elections.”
He indicated that NPP thugs operating as militant groups have used the name of the President to intimidate, harass and unleash violence an innocent Ghanaians but the President has failed to tackle the menace with the seriousness it deserves.
The Ranking Member added that there is a dichotomy in the public stance of President Akufo Addo expressing concern about the spate of lawlessness and his private stance, which seems to countenance the recklessness of his militant groups coupled with a lack of seriousness about attacks on the police and general state of insecurity in the country.
He stated that well meaning Ghanaians expect the President not to only denounce acts of indiscipline but also spell out decisive measures to proscribe all the lawless groups whose existence is akin to domestic terror groups and stressed that the rule of law must not give way to the rule of the jungle.
The Minority called on the President to be willing to dismiss non-performing appointees and replace them with more competent persons willing and able to do the job.
The Minority also urged President Akufo-Addo to direct the Police Council to review appointments in the Police Service, which has weakened the morale of the service and the heightened concerns of over-politicization of certain appointments made recently within the service.
President Akufo-Addo, the Minority insists, must as a matter of urgency put together a bi-partisan group to help the Ghana Police to review its operations with a view to adopting new strategies and technologies to help rein in the upsurge of criminal activities.
By Osumau Al-Hassanfirstname.lastname@example.org