Pursue the Daboya armoury robbers

BY: Daily Graphic
Library photo
Library photo

There is overwhelming agreement globally that it makes a lot of sense to prevent dangerous people from having access to deadly weapons, since many lives can be saved from gun violence such as robbery.

Having arms in illegal hands can be very perilous. In Ghana, figures may not be readily available, but in the United States, for instance, 314 people are killed or seriously injured by guns every day. This means that over 114,000 men, women and children are shot each year, which translates into nearly 1.1 million in the last 10 years. A breakdown of the figures is startling: more than 8,800 children and minors are shot before their 18th birthday.

This is a real challenge that many countries of the West face.

Already, for the over one million people who die from malaria each year, mostly children under five years, 90 per cent occur in sub-Saharan Africa, with Ghana being part. The disease burden alone is too heavy to carry in this part of the world. It is thus imperative that we endeavour not to add any other burden to this challenge. That, perhaps, accounts for our tight restrictions on gun ownership in the country, as liberalising the handling of weapons by all manner of persons is considered a threat to societal peace and stability.

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On the last count in 2016, about 1.1 million unlicensed weapons, ranging from AK 47 assault rifles, G3s, double-barrelled guns, local mortars, hummers, simplex, Baikal guns, local pistols, spears, bows and arrows, were in the possession of civilians in the country.

Even at a time when few people are authorised to carry weapons, we are not oblivious to the mayhem thugs, land guards and armed robbers are causing with the arms they hold. We can count the many policemen on duty, innocent breadwinners and dear family ones who have fallen victim to hoodlums who hold arms in the country.

On many occasions, the country has given amnesty to people who are in possession of guns unofficially to submit them to the authorities. This is done to reduce the number of guns in the hands of wrong people to enhance the safety and security of the country.

It is in view of this that the Daily Graphic is extremely worried about news that the Daboya police armoury in the North Gonja District in the Northern Region has been broken into and weapons stolen.

We are apprehensive because certainly, these stolen weapons are in wrong hands. Again, it is suspected that the criminals are armed robbers who are certainly going to use the stolen weapons to perpetrate more crime, such as robbery and others. The situation does not bode well for the country in terms of security, as well as foreign currency, as these arms are imported.

But we are at a loss as to how an armoury could be broken into and the contents looted, with the explanation that a policeman on duty left his duty post for hours. Unquestionably, supervision was lax. Was it never detected that someone had left his duty post for such a long time? And what was done about it, instead of leaving a whole armoury unguarded?

We request for thorough and immediate investigations into the burglary, while we strongly ask the police to pursue the suspected robbers to bring them to face the law. This has gone beyond child’s play, and we know our police are capable of the task ahead.