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Opinions of Monday, 29 April 2019

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

Dangerous, despicable criminal novelty

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What better headline for the nasty and despicable incidents of kidnapping seeking a foothold in the country as we stand and look helplessly, indeed forlornly. More worrying is the fact that it is being imported into the country by non-citizens – their impunity painful and offensive.

Kidnapping is a new phenomenon in our crime lexicon and the speed with which it is joining the other crimes calls for a national conversation on how to stem it. The diplomatic fallout from a faux pas will not inure to our sub-regional image given our membership of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

Our actions in this direction should be couched in maximum finesse devoid of traits suggesting xenophobia.

The crime is in its infantile stage and so it can be nipped it in the bud before it develops tap roots at which stage its sweet taste would have attracted local criminals as a more efficient means of fleecing money. When local criminals migrate to this mode of criminality, we would be in deep security trouble beyond the capability of our law enforcement system. We all know how citizens hardly proffer intelligence information to the police and the implication of such indifference.

With scores of cold cases on the shelves of detectives, we are not ready for the rather complex crime of kidnappings.

Ghanaians have started complaining about the trend and when they are no longer able to take it anymore, the consequences would be telling.

It would appear that some elements from Nigeria are abusing the ECOWAS protocol in a manner which calls for an emergency diplomatic response.

Recently, some Nigerians were deported after their attack on some Ghana Immigration Service staff.

Ghana is one country where even non-ECOWAS members remain within its borders as illegals with no immigration officers going after them as it is the case in other jurisdictions. We do not therefore deserve the treatment being meted out to us by our guests. The bond of friendship between Ghana and Nigeria has been long – the two being former stable mates of British colonialism. There have been intermarriages between the ethnic groups of the two countries and so the trend which has the proclivity to destroy this bond is something which must be addressed now.

Xenophobic reprisals should not be the order in the country as it did in South Africa. We consider our nationals from ECOWAS as our brothers and sisters and would therefore expect from them respect for our laws.

The recent foiled kidnapping in Kumasi involving an Indian sounds ominous. And considering that it is the latest in a string of such crimes in the country the players suspected to be Nigerians. The time to act is now or we lose the game to these criminals.

It is heartwarming to learn that there are many law-abiding Nigerian citizens in the country some of whom have pledged to expose the bad nuts among their compatriots.

It is our stand that the good ones be encouraged to expose the bad nuts as a first step towards managing the burgeoning security challenge.

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