Each night I’m about to retire to bed,I get scared. Perhaps, certain people are not alarmed like those of us with no security. We toil in the day, lie down to sleep and we are jolted by metallic objects and faceless people to surrender our properties.
We dare not cough else a bullet will run through our skulls. Our women need not shout; they will be molested and gang raped.
The spate of the brutalities and the urge of getting rich overnight by our youth is on the ascendency. When or where are the next robberies and the next soul to be lost? As I write, the gangs are out there planning which area, homes and who to rob.
We the citizens (‘not spectators’) have no slight idea when and where they come from. All we do is work hard in the day, commute or drive home, get a bath and lay down; we wake and our belongings are gone.
Consistently, we sit, fold our arms, talk and organise press conferences, speak big English into microphones, release our strategies to the media and we move on.
We sleep and they come. We shout but are not heard. The police sometimes pretend they care; they blame their apparatuses and their size. They sometimes blame the distance.
Our security system has relaxed. The police stand by our roads and extort monies from motorists with impunity. In broad day, their activities are glaring and evident. I see them hold rusty and dusty rifles and I smile.
One can easily use a catapult to scare them off the road. Ghana police have remained under-resourced since time immemorial. I am not sure they even have the latest and sophisticated drone other intelligent units use in tracking crimes.
I am not sure their systems are networked to track cases. Visits to police posts reveal that all they speak is money.
In Africa, we celebrate unemployment among the youth. Unemployment is one major area a serious country should focus on and deal with to curb crime and its related vices. We saw the huge numbers that turned up in 2016 when the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) opened its doors to prospective recruits.
We saw it, when in 2016, there was recruitment of teachers into the Ghana Education Service and the number that applied was huge and alarming. We saw it again when the National Identification Authority (NIA) opened applications for its various positions in 2017.
Thousands of graduates applied. In October, 2017, the Ghana Education Service opened a new limited recruitment for its positions and I saw it again. The number was huge.
Early this year, the Ghana Immigration Service opened its application system to enlist the youth to fill their positions.
Thousands applied but only a few hundreds were selected out of the huge numbers. The backlog of the unemployed youth looking for food to eat keep accumulating and that is threatening. This is not rocket science. It’s a little common sense that needs to be worked on.
So…Why the dramatics?
The reshuffling of police officers won’t solve the problem. We all know that if the human hand is idle, the devil finds work for it.
If our young men and women after school work to contribute to nation building, feed their families, have wives or husbands around them, they would not wake in the night, plan a robbery, pick a gun and kill to feed.
If our police are committed and stand for the ‘integrity’ instead of what they will eat, our security system will see a shift from the usual ‘anything for the boys’ to building an ebullient nation devoid of crime.
I am writing and appealing humbly to all stakeholders, the President, Minister of the Interior, Defence Minister, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Minister of Employment and all concerned to rise quickly to arrest the fast growing robbery in the country.
It can be done and done rapidly. It can be curbed and reduced. And we all will sleep soundly and wake happily.
God Bless our homeland Ghana.