Feature Article of Thursday, 11 October 2012

Columnist: Pobee-Mensah, Tony

We don't take politicians to task, we damage our country

The cold war between the West and the USSR brought Africans one military government after another. If America felt that a government was too cozy with the USSR, they found a military man who would overthrow that government. If USSR thought their interest was at stake, they found a dictator to woo. The result was that Africa was trampled on and we never made progress. Today, thank God, there seems to be the semblance of progress, and Ghana has been among the leaders of this seeming progress. How long will this last? I have thought of this a lot and my answer is; drum roll please; until terrorism comes to our shores.
Terrorism? It will never come to Ghana, right. Many years ago, I would have said the same about armed robbery. Armed robbery was something that happened in Nigeria and it found its way to Ghana. Nollywood was in Nigeria right? Well, Nollywood has come to Ghana. Nigeria had oil and today we have oil. Now there are bombings in Nigeria. Does it take much to wonder if bombings are on their way to Ghana? Not to me especially that the government has not been able to put even a dimple in the reign of armed robbery. Where there is bombing (terrorism), America soon follows, and when America comes to fight terrorism in your country, society falls apart. Look at Somalia and the upper East Africa; working its way down to Kenya and Uganda.
The fact is that our government has not done one thing about the rampant armed robbery in the country. If guns made their way to Ghana, bombs can make their way to Ghana too. Before this problem gets out of hand, the government should crush it. Yes, crush it meaning bringing a sledge hammer to kill a small cockroach.
There was a headline in the news not long ago saying that the people of Abelenpke and Dworwulu neighborhoods in Accra were in fear because of frequent armed robbery in the neighborhoods. A police Commander was reported to have said that they had increased patrol in the neighborhoods. In my view, increasing patrol is not the answer. I believe for the government to show how serious they take this issue, they should send a small battalion to such places and leave when three or four military posts and several observation camera towers have been built in the neighborhoods. Such a response will be the most effective way to absolutely state that armed robbery will not be tolerated at all. After all the only thing that our military do is fight for the United Nations when they are not busy overthrowing the government.
How will we pay for this? I think home owners of the neighborhoods should make a monthly contribution to the cost. Along with that, I think all elected officials and political appointees should be furloughed. They should work two or three days less each month and the proceeds of those days that they don't work used to pay for it to make our country safe.
I believe only a serious and overwhelming response to these armed robberies will get the message to those involved that if they take up arms, they will face soldiers. Those who take arms today will find a cause tomorrow that they will take up a bomb for. It is our responsibility to demand of our government what it takes to make our country safe and hopefully keep the Americans away.

Tony Pobee-Mensah