A week ago, the Forestry Commission announced the deployment of forest guards to ward off encroachers engaged in illegal logging and mining in forest reserve.
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, was emphatic, when he said the forest guards, were going to be armed to the teeth.
AK47 guns, have already been given to the guards, who according to the CEO, received training at Asutuare by the military.
We are worried that the attempt to protect the forest, must not lead to the creation of new problems altogether.
We fear that, based on past experiences where guns have ended in wrong hands, the same will happen in this instance, especially when the vetting that is done, before one gets enlisted into the Ghana Police Service or the Ghana Armed Forces, as well other allied security services.
Many questions beg for answers when one listens to the CEO of Forestry Commission, how many weeks training did the forest guards receive, before we decided to hand over guns to them?
We are all witnesses to the devastation of our forest reserve. All well-meaning Ghanaians, will support every action to ensure that, we protect what is left of our forest, but in doing so, we should also ensure that, we do not unleash another monster that is waiting to destroy us all.
Most of the recruitment done regarding schemes such as this, is based on political party loyalty, it is nothing short of jobs for the boys, and we are already dealing with vigilantism, that is refusing to go away.
It will not be far-fetched to assume that, most of the young men, who will be enrolled into the forest guard, are members of the various vigilante groups, the least we could do to safeguard the safety and security of Ghanaians, is to ensure that, AK47 guns, do not end in the hands of these guys.
The CEO of Forestry Commission and his men might have good intentions, but those intentions could come back to bite us all, if the only solution to saving our forest, is to arm strangers.