Executive Director of the West Africa Network for Peace Building, Emmanuel Bombande has expressed surprise at the lack of security consciousness among a greater number of Ghanaians.
Speaking on a wide range of Security issues in Ghana over the last 12 months and beyond on JOYNEWS Current Affairs program, pm:EXPRESS, Mr. Bombande said, a lot of road accidents in 2012, for example, were avoidable.
He told host, Stephen Anti, the appropriate authorities lacked the capacity to enforce the regulations that make it unlawful for faulty vehicles not to use the road. Big trucks that are not fit to be on the roads have been allowed to do so, due to this lack of capacity, which Mr. Bombande said, was unfortunate.
According to him, both the authorities and the general public should be blamed for the reckless loss of lives on our roads in 2012, because safety he said is not only dependent on how laws are enforced, but also on how they are obeyed.
Over 2,000 lives were lost in road accidents in 2012 alone, while major disasters like the collapse of the Achimota Melcom Shopping Coomplex on November 7, an Aircraft disaster on June 2, were all traced to security or safety lapses, which Bombande believes all boiled down to lack of public awareness on basic safety/security precautions.
Usually, enforcement of by-laws is met with stiff opposition from the general public because many people do not appreciate that by-laws are for their own safety.
What needs to be intensified, according to Mr. Bombande, is the awareness about what it means for Ghanaians to take seriously their own safety and protection.
Speaking on the security issues in Bawku, Mr. Bombande said, the continuous negative stereotype of the problem in Bawku, is a major contributory factor to why it appears the town is always on fire: which he insists, is far from the reality on the ground.
Over the weekend, one person was shot dead and three others sustained serious injuries in the Upper East commercial town of Bawku.
Mr. Bombande stressed that “we all want the security co-ordination to be alert because we do not want such an incidence to occur again but on the other hand, we don’t want every situation to be reported as if to say that Bawku has gone bad”.
He continued that, “We all want to see the type of progress in Bawku when we talk about peace and security to increase further than it is. But when that progress is being made and there is an incidence, because of the negative mindset about it, it is over blown, which now makes the negative supersede the positive”.
This type of negative stereotyping of Bawku as a “conflict prone area”, according to the Executive Director of WANEP, is not fair to the people of Bawku.
He insists, how such incidences are handled should be in a way that does not exacerbate and reinforce the stereotype in its negative form.
In the early hours of Monday, three suspected armed robbers were shot dead by the Ashanti regional Police command. The ex-convicts numbering four were accosted at Nketia on the Adankwame road by two Policemen.
Meanwhile, according to reports, while being escorted by police to the Buffalo Unit charge office; the arrested suspects disentangled and tried to escape by scaling the Regional Police Headquarters wall, but were shot dead in the process.
Prof. Kenneth Attafuah, Executive Director of “The Justice and Human Rights Institute” who joined the discussion on phone, said the police have every right to use reasonable and lawful course to stop the person from fleeing and that means shooting below the waist line, legs, arms or the knee which will stop the person.
The police on the other hand he said are not justified in killing if they kill people who are fleeing and have dropped their arms or whose arms have been taken away from them.
If these circumstances apply then the shooting of such person is wrong, he insisted. “We all are in danger of a state of anarchy if law enforcement authorities are able to shoot to kill people who are fleeing, especially if they are un-armed”. He said