The Minority in Parliament and the Ghana Bar Association (GBA) have expressed disquiet over the increasing menace of armed robbery in the country.
While the Minority at a press conference held Friday in Accra said the insecurity and breakdown of law and order, whether real or perceived, was not conducive to the good governance and economic development of the country, the GBA, in a statement signed by its President, stated that the alarming spate of the robberies had the potential of undermining the country's democracy and must be nipped in the bud with all the necessary force at the command of the state.
At its press conference, the Minority Ranking Member on the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, Mr James Agalga, asked the President to constitute a bi-partisan group to as a matter of urgency, help the Ghana Police Service (GPS) to review its operations with a view to adopt new strategies and technologies to stem the upsurge of criminal activities.
He expressed worry' that in the midst of the frightening security situation, the President preferred to globe-trot and deliver speeches and was yet to utter a word of comfort to Ghanaians.
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The government has been urged to take measures to tackle the menace of armed robbery which has assumed alarming dimensions in the country.
“The President must lead by' example and show seriousness in tackling the situation head-on.’ he said.
Mr Agalga, who is the Member of Parliament (MP) for Builsa North and former Deputy Minister of the Interior, said the insecurity was being experienced at a time when the President had 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 the Bureau of National Investigations(BNI), Director of Defence Intelligence, Director of Research Department, among other security portfolios.
Mr Agalga indicated that the national security situation had three dimensions.
The first was related to the activities of militant groups aligned to the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the second dimension had to do with the spate of attacks on police personnel while the third was related to the rampant reports of robbery across the country.
He said the worsening insecurity situation was occasioned by the lack of discretion on the part of the several security appointees.
Mr Agalga noted that the insecurity festered because of the failure of the government to deal with vigilante groups which had attacked security personnel and other public servants, as well as public institutions.
Mr Agalga said the new face of Ghana under President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was the heightened sense of lawlessness and general insecurity which had become the lot of the citizenry.
He added that it was not just the frequency of the armed robberies which was disturbing but more notably the brazen conduct of the criminals.
According to Mr Agalga, the increasing number of police personnel being killed or molested in the line of duty was unacceptable and required firm action.
He, therefore urged the government to ensure the protection of police officers.
He added that the President must instruct the Attorney-General to wrap up pending cases of attacks on police personnel, and also direct the Police Council to review appointments in the Police Service that had weakened the morale of the Police Service.
In the statement of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), signed by its President, Mr Benson Nutsukpui, and issued in Bolgatanga, the GBA noted that the safety'and security of law-abiding citizens was an essential component of the rule of law and must be protected and guarded by the state.
It said Ghanaians and other nationals resident in Ghana should be able to go about their normal duties without a heightened sense of insecurity.
“The GBA would wish to commiserate with the families and colleagues of persons who have lost their lives as a result of the robberies and all persons who have been victims of these robberies.’
The statement further called on the government to ensure the police was adequately resourced to enable it to undertake its duties.
It also urged the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to ensure a thorough investigation of all the incidents of robberies and the perpetrators brought to justice.