The Small Arms Commission of Ghana has warned of a possible politically-motivated violence during the 2016 elections after observing a trend pointing to stockpiling of weapons and violence in recent times.
The Executive Director of the commission, Jones Applerh expressed fears that the elections could trigger a rise in demand for arms.
The number of arms seizures must have informed the fears of the commission, TV3’s Benjamin Aidoo reports.
There were seizures of arms reported in Ashanti, Western and parts of Volta region within the year.
The commission was particularly worried about the recent violence at James Town and the house of the opposition leader, Nana Akufo-Addo Nima in Kumasi.
In February, 2016 the police retrieved at least 13 guns within three months in the Western region. According to the commission, the arms included five pump action guns, four locally manufactured pistols, two AK47 assault rifles, one single–barrel gun, one foreign pistol and many rounds of ammunition.
In the Volta region, the Ghana Immigration Service on 27th January, 2016, intercepted 12 locally manufactured single barrel guns at Aflao Customs Division.
At a forum to educate residents of Tafo in Kumasi on dangers associated with handling of guns ahead of the elections, the Executive Director of the Small Arms Commission, Jones Applerh, was particularly worried about the movement of arms in the Ashanti region. He mentioned that four persons including a Burkinabe were arrested and loads of rifles and ammunition intercepted in Kumasi.
Some of the arms were capable of shooting down an aircraft, according to a police source.
Eleven ak47 rifles, 10 G3s, 45 automatic side-arms, 9mm AK47 tracer ammunitions, one machine gun, 45 automatic G3 ammunitions, four firing pins and five 12.7mm ammunitions have also been seized.
He was also worried about the recent violence in the national capital and other parts of the country ahead of the elections.
The forum was organized by the National Commission for Civic Education to also educate residents in Tafo about election related violence.
The community or stakeholder engagement was necessary for a peaceful election with over 5000 hotspots identified by the police in this year’s elections.
Already, the event had taken place in areas including Bawku, Tamale, Bolga, Bimbila, and Sunyani.
The Tafo/Pankrono District Police Commander, Superintendent David Kwaku Amoako, said the event is to draw the attention of the general public to the fact that, they have a role to play in ensuring a peaceful election and security, before, during and after the elections.
He appealed to the people to volunteer information to the security agencies on persons in possession of illegal arms to curb the dangers of arms proliferation in the area.
Source: 3news.com | Ghana