In the wake of the increased instances of robbery and violent crime, Former President Jerry John Rawlings says he hopes the heightened insecurity is not politically motivated.
In a statement on social media, he noted some concern that some persons may be orchestrating the upsurge in crime for parochial motives.
“Let us hope the recent robbery and killings is downright plain robbery and not a politically motivated action from within or without, calculated to undermine those in charge of the security machinery in order to pave the way for certain parochial ambitions,” the former President stated.
Despite this, Mr. Rawlings said the security agencies owe Ghanaians “the responsibility of keeping the nation safe and secure.
“Let us all confront this menace with utmost confidence and professionalism while ensuring that no one, high or low takes advantage of our vulnerabilities,” he added in his statement.
There has been a dramatic surge in robberies and violent crime in the past month.
A number of these robberies have been carried out in broad daylight and have resulted in multiple casualties.
Most recently, on the morning of Wednesday, February 28, a Lebanese national was robbed of GHc 200,000 and killed at the Tema Industrial area in the Greater Accra Region.
The victim, Ahmed Safiadeen, aged 54, was a cashier of Delta Agro Company and had gone to withdraw the amount of GHC 200,000 from the bank for the salaries of workers, and other factory expenses of the company.
Beyond the killing of the Lebanese, there was a daylight attack on a Forex Bureaux at Spintex and two robberies in the North Kaneshie area this past week.
In one of the incidents, about 10 armed men stormed Royal Motors, an automobile company in Accra, making away with the company’s sales.
Eyewitnesses reported that the robbers trailed a bullion van that had entered the Industrial Area premises of the company to collect the company’s sales made the previous day.
‘We’re ready to die’
Despite these attacks, the Director of Operations for the Ghana Police Service, DCOP George Akufo Dampare, has said although his outfit is logistically deficient, they are ready to put their lives on the line to ensure the safety of every Ghanaian.
Speaking on the Citi Breakfast Show, DCOP Dampare also noted that the support of the citizens will go a long way to help the Police Service combat the increasing rate of crime in the country.
“We want to give them [citizens] the assurance that we will go every length, including losing our lives to make them safe. We understand that we are not there yet, in terms of the full complement of our equipment. We also understand that over the years, government after government has made an attempt to bring us to a particular level in terms of equipment,” he said.
Over 20 robbery suspects have been arrested this week in connection with robberies in areas like Spintex, Tema and Kanashie.
According to the police, several of such robbers who have been arrested since Monday are currently undergoing screening.
COP Dampare, 10 others reassigned amidst soaring robbery cases
Mr. Rawlings’ comments came shortly before a major reshuffle hit the service. Dr. George Akuffo Dampare, Director General of Police Operations, has been reassigned by the Inspector General of Police, David Asante-Apeatu, to head the Research and Planning Department.
He is to be replaced immediately by the Eastern Regional Police Commander, DCOP Simon Afeku.
Nine others have also been reassigned to take up various positions across the country. Whilst the reasons for the latest reshuffle are unknown; it comes at a time when the police service has come under severe criticism following an increase in robbery cases across the country.
Below is s full list of the transfers