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Opinions of Thursday, 31 December 2015

Columnist: Daily Guide Network

National security headache

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A million rounds of ammunition intercepted at the country’s frontier and other consignments said to have made their way into a yet-to-be determined destination already, are a worrying development, more so when a general election is beckoning.

There is no gainsaying the fact that heightened gunrunning in a country which is not used to such activities should be a source of worry to otherwise peace-enjoying citizens: security breaches with bloodcurdling repercussions belong to other parts of the world heard only on international news networks.

Security experts have not stopped repeating their counsel that Ghanaians should not take the peace they are enjoying for granted but should go the extra mile to guarantee it.

Being measured in our utterances thereby keeping the political engine from being overheated, is one of the means of maintaining the peace and tranquility of the country; good governance and the strengthening of state institutions are also included.

The foregone, when adhered to strictly, would render those planning to plunge this country into avoidable chaos useless and encourage whistleblowers to cooperate even more with law enforcement agents.

One important lesson has been learnt from the Aflao debacle: tipoff is vital in national security management – something which can be achieved through cordiality with members of the public by law enforcements agents.

But for it the last consignment would have joined those which went before it.

Security management is not the preserve of the police and their counterparts in the other services.

The support of all Ghanaians is needed in managing the challenge of gunrunning which symptoms are too clear to be ignored under our present circumstances.

A million rounds of ammunition under our circumstances is such a large consignment. They are enough to turn the status of a peaceful country to the contrary, especially at the hands of bad elements.

When two consignments of deadly weapons were impounded in Kumasi, their owners now arraigned, many questions were posed.

Answers to those questions are not yet known by Ghanaians outside the security management circles. These answers should tell us whether we should be apprehensive or not.

Whatever feedback we receive, it is a fact that the gunrunning industry has received a certain level of impetus as a result of a fault-line at one of the frontiers in the sub-region.

If the million rounds of ammunition were intended for Ghana they must be going to feed firearms already smuggled into the country. Perhaps those captured in Kumasi are only a tip of the iceberg. We hope not.

It would be also worthwhile to determine the country of origin of these ammunition and whether there is any correlation between them and the firearms seized earlier.

The arrest of persons with telltale insurgency training videos, juxtaposed alongside the foregone and the isolated cases of illicit possession of assault firearms by some persons is portentous.

This cannot be a flash in a frying pan, especially since the suspects have vanished into thin air under bizarre circumstances.

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