•Ghanaians are unhappy about the state of security in the country in recent times
•There have been several major attacks by robbers and security personnel alike
• These have sparked massive conversation about the safety of the ordinary Ghanaian citizen
Ghanaians have been very concerned about the state of affairs as far as the subject of security in the country, in recent times is concerned.
A number of happenings in the past few days, have spurred conversations about the competence of our security agencies and the ability of leadership of this country, to protect its citizens.
From armed robberies, to attacks on police men and citizens and then more recently, unprofessional behaviours from some military personnel.
These have come up in the trends recently, contributing to discussions about security in the country.
Armed robbery and car hijacking incidents at GIMPA road:
In the face of dark streets, commuters who ply the Legon bypass road, what is often referred to as the GIMPA road, became more worried about the use of the stretch at night.
Though it’s not the first, recent incidents where a user of that road was attacked by robbers whilst driving at around 8pm on May 31, 2021, created another discourse around the subject.
The man (unidentified) who narrated his ordeal in a video said a plastic road construction tool was thrown at him while driving to get him to stop but he escaped narrowly. Shortly after, a police release revealed that a robber was arrested on the same stretch on June 11. This incident happened in broad day light, at 2PM.
The robber was arrested after he launched an attack on the driver of a Nissan Pathfinder, by throwing a big stone at the vehicle. He smashed the glass of the car in the process but failed to complete his mission before the driver of the car alerted the police patrol team in the area at the time.
Robbery attack on bullion van at James Town:
In broad day light, on Monday June 14, a number of robbers attacked a bullion van at Adedenkpo, a suburb of James Town in Accra.
The policeman on guard and a trader who happened to be around at the time of the incident died in the process. The robbers made away with the money in the van and the AK-47 gun belonging to the officer who was shot.
A whole conversation about the unsafe state of bullion vans emerged, with the IGP suggesting bankers use armoured vehicles for transporting money. It was a whole forth and back conversation both on mainstream and social media. Investigations were launched and some four suspects were arrested.
They, however, were released after the Criminal Investigation Department of the Ghana Police Service noted that they were innocent of the said crime allegations because they were nowhere near the incident at the time it happened.
Robbery attack on bullion van at Winneba
Shortly after the incident at JamesTown, a similar incident was recorded on Thursday, June 17, this time, at Winneba. Some armed robbers attacked a bullion van with money at Gomoa Okyereko on the Kasoa-Winneba road, again, in broad day light.
There were two police officers on board, a banker and an amount of GH ¢550,000 which belonged to the Zenith bank and was being transferred.
The crew in the bullion van with registration number GN 6956 -17 fortunately were able to escape the gunshots fired by the robbers.
This was after one of the officers on board placed an SOS call following which a nearby patrol team was dispatched to the area and the robbers fled.
Mob attack on FixTheCountry campaigner:
News of this unfortunate event shook and terrified many Ghanaians after its emergence. An activist of the #FixTheCountry campaign, Ibrahim Mohammed, a.k.a Macho Kaaka was attacked by unknown assailants at his Ejura residence.
Kaaka was returning home on his motorbike when the accused persons; namely Fuseini Alhassan, a butcher; Ibrahim Issaka, also known as Anyaase, a ticket seller and Iddi Mohammed, also known as Chuburos, a blacksmith, attacked him while he was entering his house.
According to Chief Superintendent Kofi Blagodzi, the Ashanti Regional Judicial Police Officer, Kaaka was beaten by the accused persons till he fell unconscious, and then they absconded. He died at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital.
This particularly enraged many who have suggested the act was deliberately orchestrated to get rid of the young man whose actions were making the ruling government unpopular.
Ejura shootings by military personnel
Youth in the Ejura township who were protesting the death of Kaaka were met with brutal force by security personnel in the area on June 29, 2021.
A group of military officials and police personnel clashed with unarmed civilians at Ejura Sekyeredumase in the Ashanti region who were unhappy about the death of their colleague and hence took to the streets to demonstrate.
They blocked a road and stopped the flow of traffic.
Military persons deployed to the area however shot sporadically into the air and some into the crowd after arriving at the scene in an Operation COVID-19 Safety pickup.
One officer particularly positioned himself to shoot as captured by a video which went viral. The police officers who were also behind the military men were also seen shooting into the air to disperse the crowd which was already fleeing.
This unfortunate incident, led to the death of 2 persons and the injury of about 6 others.
Whilst the police investigates the issue, Ashanti Regional Minister, Simon Osei-Mensah says the officers deployment was sanctioned by him because he wanted to quell the protests in the area.
Many have since however raised questions about the need for the military intervention when there were police personnel and why there was shooting when the civilians were unarmed and were already fleeing at their sight.
Ransacking and abuse of citizens by military personnel in Wa
As though this wasn’t enough, residents of Wa in the Upper West Region on Thursday July 1, were horrified after armed soldiers trooped the area to brutalise a number of them over a missing mobile phone.
This phone which supposedly belonged to one of their colleagues went missing after the said colleague boarded a tricycle, what is known as ‘Mahama Cambo’.
The incident which reportedly started at 1.pm lasted for about an hour at the Wa main traffic. Many, including the Public Relations Officer of the Upper West Regional Coordinating Council, Cletus Awuni were affected by the incident and many were brutalized in the process.
This sparked wide condemnation, with many questioning the rationale behind the rather inhumane act perpetrated by these soldiers.
The Ghana Armed Forces has since apologized for the incident, with its Chief of Army Staff, Major General Thomas Oppong Peprah describing the behaviour of his officers as horrible and misguided.
Pro of the Force, Col. E. Aggrey-Quashie also in a statement pledged that the said officers will be investigated and duly punished.