General News of Wednesday, 15 May 2019
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) is asking government to impose a ban on the importation of arms into the country, until emerging security threats such as terrorism, contract killings and vigilantism are dealt with.
In a statement Wednesday, signed by the Director of Communications, Kakra Essamuah, the party said it is alarmed over government’s decision to permit the recent importation of a large cache of arms into the country.
He told Joy News in an interview that considering that there has been a lot of fear and general anxiety over the general state of insecurity in the country, placing a moratorium on arms is the way to go in the interim.
“These matters must have been exacerbated by what happened at Ayawaso, the assassination of Ahmed Suale, the kidnappings going on… and these things do not bode well for all of us as citizens,” he said.
Mr Essamuah added that news of the importation of guns increases tension unduly in the country when it is not yet time for election 2020.
The Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) last week refuted claims that a container load of sophisticated guns including AK 47 assault rifles, arrived at the Tema Port.
Head of Preventive of the Customs Division of the GRA, Joseph Oppong Aboagye, assured the public that no such weapons had been imported into the country.
This was made known at the Old State Warehouse, Tema Main Harbour, after an inspection was carried out on a container to determine whether it indeed contained those weapons as was speculated.
Mr. Joseph Oppong Aboagye indicated that the items found in the container were identified and were as presented in the documents.
“They were short guns, pump action with magazine, pump action without magazine, automatic pistol grip and pact pump action. They all use the same ammunition with 12 gauges. The total number of items was about 1,575 short guns and pop actions.”
They later discovered the unnamed importer had a license issued by the Interior Ministry to do so.
But the opposition party is not convinced and wants government to properly track the distribution of the imported arms.
“The advice we are giving government is a commonsensical one to put a moratorium on imported arms and let us see whether the security can control the situation. When they have done so, we can consider lifting it,” Kakra Essamuah said.