David Ampofo writes Military deployment on our streets?

Military for policing? Why? I'm not even sure about the legality of it. Is there a state of emergency?

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The papers today have a story entitled Heavy Military Deployment Underway to Combat Crime.

Deploying the military onto the streets to fight crime is not, in my opinion, a good option. It just puts the city on edge ( especially when they are dressed Rambo style) and gives the errant elements among them a field day. It changes the city in a way that gives victory to the activities of criminal elements who simply lie low and adopt other means of operating.

Intelligence is where investment is required. We must nip things in the bud where we can, rather than " lash out" when under pressure.

Military for policing? Why? I'm not even sure about the legality of it. Is there a state of emergency?

Actually, I find it quite strange how a government which prides itself on a solid commitment to liberal democratic values, is always in hurry to use the military. This is the same thing it chose to do to fight galamsey. If galamsey is gone, great. If not, what exactly have we done? Stopped it for a while?

I can't get over the news: Putting on our streets gun-toting military men whose first response is force because of an increasing spate of robberies.

Have we so soon forgotten, "Who do you think you are? Step out of your car!!"

People, I don't think the government really thinks this is the way to go. Truth be told, it is probably more the result of a lack of ideas on how to tackle the problem. It is a knee-jerk reaction. This is no real solution. I know there are people who believe that this is a good move and are excited. It is short-sighted to be excited at the prospect of armed men on our streets. There are many innocent people who have been killed because our security men seem to sometimes prefer to shoot first before they ask questions. People have been shot and described as armed robbers. How do we know for sure that they were armed robbers?  Where is the coroners report?

Let's be careful. There are countries that supplied the weapons for conflict inadvertently, ten years prior to the full breakout of armed conflict. They armed themselves to the teeth. And then the arms fell into the hands of others who used them against them.

All this talk about providing the police with helicopters and drones and what have you needs to be well examined. On the surface, there is nothing wrong with that. But we must first invest in training and fight corruption within the service or we might just be preparing the noose for our necks with a smile on our faces. Oh! Man take money, buy trouble.


By David Ampofo

David Ampofo is an award-winning Ghanaian journalist, communications expert, and social entrepreneur. He is the founder and Chief Executive of Channel Two Communications, an advocacy communications firm based in Accra, Ghana, and the host of Time with David, Ghana's premier talk show.

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