You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2018 01 29Article 621858

Opinions of Monday, 29 January 2018

Columnist: Abdallah Abdul Matin

Growing crime wave in Tamale; na who cause am

In recent times, crime wave in the Tamale township particularly murder, armed robbery and burglary have exponentially ballooned its most extreme form. The past fortnight has witnessed four Filling Stations and dozens of businesses and households attacked by these men in masks.

The most recent of the numerous armed robbery missions left me cringing over the temerity and effrontery with which these robbers operated. The held Shell Fuel Filling Station hostage for a 'good' four hours, drunk themselves to inebriation, killed the security guard and absconded with their sales.

The dismal activities of the armed robbers have cost the lives of some four people and the lost of precious properties. The ugly situation has cost stir, anxiety and fear among the residents of Tamale. Whilst I sympathize with my people, I ask the Nigerian question; *NA WHO CAUSE AM?* What did we not do right? Have we failed ourselves and the youth? Like the reggae star Johnny Nash said that 'they are more questions than answers' Our fate today is the accumulation of the dividends of our long standing actions, inactions and misactions. We turned deaf ears to Haile Selasie when he advised that;-

" Throughout history it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph. The glorious pages of human history have been written only in those moments when men have been able to act in concert to prevent impending tragedies. By the actions you take you can also illuminate the pages of history."

It is palpable today that our silence, inactions and carefree attitude is what devouring us today. Growing up as a young boy in Tamale, I saw at firsthand cyber criminals popularly called 'sakawa or game boys' plying their trades with careless abandon. They wantonly splash their returns from this trade like nobody's business. At the peak of this, you could see walking crimes infact moral decadence became almost touchable. They had songs composed in their names and we celebrated them. They luxuriously lived in a mega million style that exuded the Bill Gates.

In the midst of all these, we never coughed or may be our coughs were not forceful or louder enough. Or did they throw into our mouths packs of cash to keep our filthy mouths shut?

Sadly, our clergy, elders, leaders and opinion leaders could not forcefully speak truth to power when they were needed the most. Our parents could not whip into line their straying offsprings because we fed on these rather short-lived largesse. Indeed, the society in Tamale was left in autopilot. At the time, I and many others bemoaned that Tamale was sliding into a chaotic bottomless pit if we do not act timely. But I was just NOBODY to be heard let alone listened to.

In 2015, the 'game boys' overstepped their bounds when they threatened the life of the then Regional Minister, Alhaji Limuna Muniru Ibrahim. Alhaji Limuna began to crack the whip on them but was cut short when he was pulled out of the region to work in the farms as Minister of Food and Agriculture. Tamale yet again returned to the slippery slope to social breakdown. They were reports of some of them being offered jobs and they declined it flatly because it offered almost nothing. For the past few months, the operatives of the Federation Bureau Investigation of the United States have stormed the metropolis to cause the arrest and seizure of the properties of the 'sakawa boys'. Mark Zuckerberg has also tightened the knobs of his Facebook. The United States, United Kingdom and other target nations have strengthened the laws on their money remittance. The amalgamation of these control measures undertaken have literally blocked the revenue stream of the 'game boys' in the metropolis.

In the effort of some of them to still maintain their luxury we looked on when they started, they have resorted to the burglary and armed robbery we have witnessed. Even though they have not been any credible scientific research to draw this linkage, but that is the popular view among my people.

All of us, I mean ALL OF US have conspired and crafted Frankistern monsters who have started devouring us. Do we blame ourselves, the gods or the God? But this is just the tip of the iceberg and we should brace ourselves up for the debilitating effect of our careless inactions. I am not a doomster. Do not get it twisted. I'm just a realist.

The many conflicts hotspots in the region have also stretched the inadequacies of the security apparatus to the limit. As a result of the concentration of the security operatives on these conflicts zones like Bimbilla, Bunkprugu, Daboya etc, police visibility and patrol has drastically reduced I'm the Tamale metropolis. This situation has worsened the plight of my people allowing the hoodlums to take advantage of the gap created. May be we need many Musah Superiors and Kofi Boakyes to nip the situation in the bud. Before then, May Allah be a guard for my people.