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Say It Loud

Who Is An Armed Robber?

2003-01-01 23:34:18

Armed robbers are ravaging Ghana today threatening our young democracy and even tourism. The classical definition of an armed robber is a person who takes arms and forcibly demand possessions from a group or another person, either in the privacy of the victim's home, or in public. No armed robber is a desirable person and when caught, in my mind, should be given the firing squad in public to deter others from doing so.

But there is another group of armed robbers. That group is made up of politicians or civil servants who steal PUBLIC funds to enrich themselves. An armed robber in this category can steal funds that will deny a whole community of a health center, school building, good drinking water, accessible roads, and even a gigantic project like the Keta Sea Defence Wall. I think the second group of armed robbers is worse because as I mentioned before, their victims are all Ghanaians, and the monies they steal could well be used to provide services to benefit communities. A lack of accessible road leading to a health center, or lack of health center or both for example, could increase morbity in populations increasing mortality, or reducing productivity; or deny children, a basic right as education.

How does our country treat these two groups of armed robbers? The first group, the classical one, when caught and found guilty, is simply imprisoned with hard labor. I do not think our government presently has a law that commit these thugs to death, except maybe, when an innocent victim is killed.

The second group (politicians and civil servants) generally get away with their crimes for lack of evidence because of the control they have over their acts. Sometimes, they even use the constitution to justify why their "crimes" could not be classify as a crime. Tsastu Tsikata and his "causing financial loss to the state at GNPC" is a clear example. The monies the state lost when he headed GNPC could well build a regional hospital, a secondary school, or even re-build the Accra - Yamoransa (Cape Coast) road to a dual expressway that could significantly reduce the number traffic-related injuries and fatalities a year. We presently loose more lives on Accra - Cape Coast road due to traffic fatalities than those the classical armed robbers kill on that road in a year. The monies Ghana lost from Selormey-Abodakpi-Prof. Boadu computerization scandal could built a polyclinic at Adenta or Nima to provide health care services to the communities.

So why should we just place the likes of Selormey and Tsastu Tsikata (if found guilty in the GNPC case) in Nsawam at the taxpayers expense, and decide to kill armed robbers who kill innocent people? The monies Ghana lost due to actions (or inactions?) or theft committed by Tsastu Tsikata and Selormey for example, if were used to build health centers at Nima or Adenta, could save the lives of several Ghanaians.

So again, who is an armed robber?

[This is an authentic posting from (Registered User)]
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