Kidnapping and armed robbery in recent years have become topical and an issue of great concern in Ghana.
Our news broadcast headlines are dominated by crimes of these nature.
We hardly wake-up these days without having cases of such.
It is a common phenomenon to see robbers invade and attack homes and institutions, with many innocent persons being killed in the processes. Others are even ceased forcefully against their will.
These innocent persons especially children are either killed after severe brutalisation or used for rituals. Worse still, they are released upon a demand for a ransom from the victim’s family. The missing of the 4 Taadi girls who are believed to have been Kidnapped recently, is a quintessential example of what I’m talking about.
The alarming and worrying nature of these crimes have ushered all into a state of dreaded fear and trepidation as you cannot predict what will happen to you or the next door neighbor in the next second.
This seem to suggest that, the Ghanaian people are not safe at all because you might perhaps become the next kidnapped or robbed victim.
What makes the situation even worst and more worrying is that, those who are equipped and charged with duties to protect lives and properties in society, are themselves falling prey and victims to these gruesome acts highlighted above.
Thinking about this, the only logical question that runs through my mind like any other Ghanaian citizen is, “if this can be done to the police and military who are themselves trained and equipped with the state’s sophisticated security apparatus’, then what would be done to the ordinary civilian?”
That notwithstanding, I see almost everyone blaming and pointing accusing fingers at the government in power, the security agencies as well as chiefs of towns and villages.
I do believe these agencies are putting up much efforts to nib in the bud or curb these worrying menace that have plighted our societies today.
In as much as we are trying to find solutions to these current menace, I think it’s expedient we look at the root cause of these demonic and evil acts.
Thus, what brought about these vices in our society.
What brought about all these?
I do recall that, in the 1980s and 1990s, there was nothing like armed robbery and kidnapping. As arguably as that may seem, my assertion is justified by the kind of news items that took the center stage of our daily discussions and filled the headlines of our electronic and print media in those days. “Armed robbery and kidnaping” were not words that filled our daily rhetorics. In that, you hardly hear of someone being attacked, killed or kidnapped. Yes, this is very true!
The only crime of theft you hear of is ‘pick pocketing’ which is ’atutubotom’ in the Akan parlance. News of such acts were not even common. The reason is that, the culprits of such acts in those days were few and highly ashamed when caught because they were stigmatized as anti-so and severely dealt with.
The question still remains, what brought about all these crimes?
In answering the question raised earlier as to what brought about these, first I believe, the beginning of foreign movies importation* started the woes of the Ghanaian people in that regard.
In most of these foreign movies, we see people being robbed and kidnapped. I believe strongly that, what is happening in Ghana today were undoubtedly learnt from foreign movies.
Again, I’m of the opinion that, our porous borders permit some of these foreigners to enter our country without the necessary documentations. It’s sad to know that, some of our bothers have poor access to internet or electricity hence, restrict the flow of information and the circulation of same among immigration personnel to check illegal migrants. It is some of these migrants that perpetrate some of these heinous crimes because there is little or no information at all on them to trace their whereabouts in the country.
The Way Forward
Although I am personally gripped with fear, I dare to say that, if what is happening in our days is not controlled and prevented, our children in few years to come, will be in trouble.
I humbly suggest that, there should be a ban on importation of foreign movies.
In addition, I suggest the National Communication Authority (NCA) must as a matter of urgency, regulate the quality and the kind of movies that should be shown on various television stations in Ghana.
I believe, this will go a long way to help minimize these crimes and many others if not totally stopped.
Moreover, that issue of our borders must be taken seriously by the government. The government as a of matter urgency should provide all necessary apparatus or equipments to ensure the safety of our borders.
Immigration officials should also ensure that all foreigners entering our country have the requisite documents and permits. This will go a long way to reduce this menace which is gradually making our country a dreadful place.
Lastly, I suggest that, a more stricter punishment should be meted out to perpetrators of such hideous crimes when they are caught. This I believe will serve as a deterrence to others to indulge in such acts.
Armed robbery and kidnapping are foreign crimes. They were not part of the Ghanaian’s culture.
An Article by Charles G. Tengey