The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed worry at the importation of large quantities of pump action and shot guns into the country for private use.
According to the party, the importation of these large cache of arms is alarming, at a time when the country was grappling with the threat of terrorism at its northern frontier, vigilantism and armed robberies across the country.
It has, therefore, called on the government to consider the option of placing a moratorium on the importation of arms until emerging threats such as terrorism, contract killing, armed robberies and vigilantism have been adequately addressed.
A statement signed and issued by the Communications Director of the party, Mr Kakrah Essamuah, and issued in Accra yesterday admonished the government to track the sale and purchase of the weapons in question and to ensure that the weapons did not end up in the hands of bandits, hoodlums and vigilantes.
Adherence to the Arms and Ammunitions Act
In addition, it said, the government must ensure that only persons who had satisfied the requirements stipulated under the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 1972, were permitted to purchase and own the weapons in question.
The statement said the said weapons were intercepted by Customs Officers at the Tema Port on Friday, May 10, 2019 and although Police investigations appeared to point to the fact that the firearms were imported under the license of the Interior Ministry, the NDC was alarmed by the government’s decision to authorise the importation at such a time.
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“And as if not fearful enough, there are further reports emerging of at least nine more containers full of weapons and apparently owned by the same person being cleared at the port,” the statement added.
It was the contention of the NDC that easy access to small arms and light weapons, fuelled criminal activities such as armed robbery and terrorism.
Proliferation of small arms
“We are also mindful of research findings which suggest that there are at the moment, nearly two million small arms in unlawful circulation in Ghana, a situation which does not augur well for our peace and security” the statement stressed.
It added that: “It is against this backdrop that the NDC wishes to admonish the government of President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to track the sale and purchase of the weapons in question and to ensure that the weapons do not end up in the hands of bandits, hoodlums and vigilantes.”
In addition, it said, “the government must ensure that only persons who have satisfied the requirements stipulated under the Arms and Ammunitions Act, 1972, are permitted to purchase and own the weapons in question.”