Arms and ammunition, are steadily finding their way into the country. The nation is already paying the price for the influx of illegal weapons, which are used for criminal activities.
Recently, through a press release, the Ministry of Interior, lamented the influx of illegal weapons, which is estimated to be about 1.2 million.
A statement signed by the Minister of Interior, Prosper Douglas Bani, called attention to renewed proliferation of arms recently, when he said the police and the Ghana Small Arms Commission (NACSA), have started mopping up arms by instituting a limited amnesty exercise to all those in possession of these weapons to either have them registered or handed over .
The numbers show a scary dimension to the nation’s security palaver, especially as we have less than four months to an election.
We need to vet the people, we hand over weapons to, otherwise we will be issuing licences to criminals to perpetrate their criminal activities.
The grim situation is brought more eerily with information from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) that of the approximately 100 million arms in sub-Saharan Africa, 8 to 10 million are concentrated in the hands of non-state actors and criminal groups.
Already, the sophistication and privatization of violence by non-state actors is a nemesis.
Acquisition and control of the instruments of coercion by armed people, must be checked, while local gunsmithing and arms production, should be criminalized, if it is difficult to monitor and control, in whose hands their weapons end up.
The police and NACSA, should go beyond issuing amnesty to discover and destroy factories producing these instruments of mass destruction; the perpetrators, their sponsors and accomplices, should be treated as enemies of the State.
The government must, as a matter of deliberate policy, demonstrate strong commitment towards strengthening arms import and export control policies.
Only the security forces should have access to military hardware.
It is only when we do this that; the citizenry can be assured that weapons would not end up in the wrong hands.