Feature Article of Thursday, 7 July 2011
Columnist: Asare, Noah Dugubrame
It is a pitty that we live in a society where Ataa Ayi is more Known than Efo Adjomani. He has not only been neglected and unrecognised, he is in fact sharing the same yard with the notorious armed robber as I speak now. He is a man that Ghana need to have been celebrating just like the Russians celebrate and cherish Andrew Kalichinkov(the man who invented AK 47 assault riffle). His invention has earned Russia millions of money. Ghana is among the nations who has been buying this weapon contributing immensely to the development of the home land of Mr Kalichinkov. Our own "Kalichinkov" and many others like him, has been confined to the rigid walls of our prisons.
As odd as I may sound there is a point in this article that I know you will get by the time you finish reading this piece. I had the upportunity to work with some security services when I was home some years back. It made me know the value of weapons, especially those used by our security forces of which AK 47 is chief. My work with the forces made me know that some twelve years back when I was still with them, one Ak 47 was 700 dollars. One single amunition of the 30 round assualt rifle was 10 dollars. Which means a fully loaded magazine at that time was 300 dollars. Ghana as a nation has millions of the worlds aguably safest weapon. A lion share of our annual budget goes into this and into security in General.
Ghana strives to get cocoa, diamomd, boxite, alluminium, timber, gold and all the resources you can think of and at the end we spend it on this riffle and many others some of which are more expensive than the Ak 47. Weapons like M-16 and G-3 which are also assault riffles are even more expensive. Our going to HIPC and the current debts we are accumulating are not just monies we used for infastructure, education, agriculture or health, but a good portion of it goes into buying these expensive weapons.
It will interest you to know that Ghana is currently importing the same weapons not from the origin of the weapons but from other countries who have manufactured the same weapons locally in their countries. G-3 is originally German but now other countries like United Arab Emirates(Dubai), Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Italy and many others are producing it. The AK47 which is Russian is now also manufactured in Poland, Serbia, China, Turkey, Columbia and even Bolivia a country Ghana can rob shoulders with if not ahead of them. The same thing can be said of the M-16 which is American but other countries are producing it including South Africa. These developing countries who are producing their own Ak, G3, and M16 did just one thing that Ghana has refused to do.
They tapped into the human resource they have, recognised the capabilities of their people. Appreciated the gifts and used them to the benefit of the whole nation. The artizans of Bolivia were some years back relegated to the crime zone just like we are doing to ours who are able to produce the same thing we spend millions importing. I was shocked one day when I was shown a locally manufactured AK 47 assault riffle and a locally manufactured NP 12 which is a side weapon with fifteen rounds. Both weapons had the calibre and capacity of the original weapons. The only feature that betrays the one made by Efo Adjomani and his boys is the raw metal you see, which is because the tools used are mostly manual and the materials are just this metals we kick on the ground in our streets. Yet those materials and tools they produce revolvers, shot guns, pump actions and other sophisticated weapons. Why jail them? Is there nothing better we can do with this artizans than killing them?
I have always been troubled as to why we will catch this talented and useful citizens and put them behind bars when their services could save the nation millions of Forex exchange. Why? If I had the power, I would have assembled all such people, give them the right tools and sponsorship they need to produce a Ghanaian AK 47. Won't that have been wonderful? That way we will keep them under surveilance. Possibly build a barracks and amoury and keep them there. Put them on government payroll and make life meaningful to them. Keep them busy and streamline their activities to the benefit of mother Ghana. Again that way the locally manufactured weapons could hardly fall into the wrong hands.
Instead, in Ghana they arrest these people, spend time and money to prosecute them, throw them into jail and spend money taking care of them in jail. All these monies we are frittering away could have started a new dawn, where Ghana like South Africa will have its own Arms manufacturing factory under Governments strong control and surveillance. We consider them criminals, so they hide from the law and manufacture the weapons and hand them over to whoever will give them their daily bread. The thousands of blacksmiths all over Ghana produce guns illegally everyday. They distribute them at without control and any monitoring mechanism. When we get hold of them we waste them.
If somebody will support me, we will shout together to the ears of our governmemt to stop killing our heroes. Instead of convicting them to Prison Custody lets confine them i a factory where we will help them develop their talents and legally produce weapons for our security forces. Lets stop them from arming ceiminals in the dark. They can be useful to themselves and the society. Maybe Ghana will soon have her own brand of weapon and name it; TUKPE, KAFUGBE or EA 57(Efo Adjomani 57).
The governments of Ghana for many years now has just gone a rampage, they are on a Heroes Killing Spree.
God bless our Homeland Ghana.
Noah Dugubrame Asare. Frankfurt, Germany.