Armed robbery attacks: Ghana is not in crisis - Kweku Baako
Editor in Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper has debunked assertion Ghana is in a state of crisis in the wake of the upsurge of armed robbery attacks in the country.
Even though he admits these attacks are worrying, Malik Kweku Baako Jnr insists if it was a national crisis situation the president and his team of advisors would have declared a state of emergency.
Citing several instances of armed robbery and violent attacks in the past, including the murder of the Member of Parliament, JB Danquah, the newspaper editor said there have similar or even worse robbery situations in the past but the solution is definitely not to press a panic button.
He was speaking on Joy FM’s news analysis programme on Newsfile, Saturday.
Rather than create an atmosphere of insecurity in the country, Kweku Baako Jnr said attention must be turned as quickly as possible to the police which is the lead agency in fighting armed robbery incidents in the country.
This week there have been a number of armed robbery attacks including the early morning Rambo-style invasion of Royal Motors by armed robbers who made away with an unspecified amount of money.
Apart from that, at least two people have been killed in bloody armed robbery attacks this week.
A cashier at Delta Agro company was shot in the head after he was trailed from a bank where he had gone to cash an amount of 200,000 cedis.
In Obuasi, a woman who was on his way home from work was attacked by the robbers, had her bag snatched and later stabbed. She died shortly after.
Apart from the deaths, there have been other attacks on Forex Bureaus, and other attacks on residents in Oyibi, Kasoa by the robbers.
The attacks have triggered two emergency high profile national security meetings, one of which was headed by the Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia.
The second was held by security chiefs all geared at finding a proper remedy for the increasing state of armed robbery attacks.
There have been some actions taken by the government, including a seven-prong action plan to fight the armed robbery attacked.
There has also been some reshuffle of the police chiefs to strategise.
Regrettable as these attacks may be, Kweku Baako Jnr said how the country reacts to them is important and it will be suicidal for the impression to be created as if the country was in some national crisis.
He also cautioned against the politicization of the situation, insisting it will not be in the interest of the country as well.
Quoting the Archer Committee report in 1997, Kweku Baako Jnr said the police have been in a deplorable state and if steps are not taken to retool the police the war against armed robbery will be lost.
According to him, out of a total of 6400 vehicles needed by the police to effectively fight armed robbery in the country, only 1,726 vehicles have been procured with a deficit of over 4000 vehicles remaining.
“Their place of accommodation is a disaster zone,” he stated.
Deputy Interior Minister Henry Quartey who was also on the show said government is procuring a 1,000 more vehicle to add to the fleet of vehicles needed by the police to fight the canker.
He added the government is making provision to also buy a chopper as well as weapons beyond AK47, all in an effort to fight crime in Ghana.