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Opinions of Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Columnist: Koku Anyidoho

Akatsi District Besieged By Armed Robbers

Manifesting The Better Ghana Agenda: Akatsi District Besieged By Armed Robbers

By Koku Kosikumah

If any Ghanaian society has anything to worry about, as far as the manifestation of the ‘Better Ghana’ Agenda on security is concerned, then it should be the people of Akatsi in the Volta Region.

It appears the ‘Better Ghana Agenda’ promise being sang by the NDC government on a daily basis is more of a dirge than something that can succeed in resolving our problems considering how the people of Akatsi Township continue to battle with the gory incidents of armed robbery.

The people of Akatsi are now in a state of fear and insecurity as the community has been engulfed by a swarm of armed robbers, who perform their nefarious acts with much comfort and pleasure.

Any inhabitant of the area would attest to the fact that the security situation in the town is nothing to write home about. The situation is, in fact, very worrying and therefore calls for an urgent step to militate.

Permit me to do a bit of politics here. During the erstwhile Kufuor-led NPP administration, the Akatsi District Assembly was supporting a Watchdog Committee in the Akatsi Township to aid the few number of police personnel in the town to maintain security.

After the exit of the NPP government from power in 2008, the security situation in the area has been bad as one could easily be attacked and robbed in broad day light. In fact, the present government has paid lip service to security matters in the town and the district, in general.

Upon assumption of office of the NDC party, the watchdog committee in the area has made several attempts to solicit for aids from the Akatsi District Assembly in order to enhance its security operations but to no avail. The countless proposals submitted to the Assembly are just lying down comfortably on shelves gathering dust.

It therefore came as no surprise when just about a couple of days ago, the Akatsi District Chief Executive (DCE), Mr. Peter Kwasi Nortsu-Kotoe was reported to have been attacked by some armed robbers at his residence. Prior to the DCE’s attack, there had been several reports of armed attacks at different points of the community but the situation then seemed not to be given any serious attention. Now that the district chief executive is himself involved, the officials are crying foul.

No wonder, the DCE just a few days ago had to quickly call for a crunch meeting involving stakeholders to discuss the way forward, as far as the security of the area is concerned.

The DCE has now realized the key role played by one George Aho, an assembly member and founder of the watchdog committee in the area and has decided to provide some form of assistance to the committee to enable it resume its security operations in the area.

However, there are speculations that because Mr. Aho has been identified as a sympathizer of the opposition NPP, the ruling NDC is just doing everything possible to thwart the efforts of the indefatigable assembly member, who, after all, has been representing his people at the district assembly since 2002. I personally cannot understand why issues of security would have to be given a political twist. President Mills’ Better Ghana agenda must not pretend to be making Ghana a heaven; meanwhile, we continue to live in abject poverty, fear and insecurity.

There are daunting problems bedeviling the people of Akatsi District, which the citizens have decided to keep mute on, but the recent spate of armed attacks is a major worry to most inhabitants and therefore the need for urgent intervention.

Instead of the Member of Parliament of the area, Hon Edward Doe Adjaho wastes his time, energy and money gathering some chiefs to write rejoinders to newspaper publications against him for nonperformance, he should rather commit those resources into strengthening the security apparatus of the area. Since the District Assembly Common Fund has some allocation for maintaining security in the district, I would like to humbly appeal to the DCE to endeavor to release some of the money for maintaining security in the area.