Over 90 percent of weapons seized in the Western and Western North regions are foreign made.
Contrary to the long-held view that over 80 percent of weapons found in crime scenes in Ghana are locally made, 1,068 out of a total of 1,194 weapons seized by the security agencies in the Western North and Western regions over a period of seven to eight years are foreign made.
This means only 5.1 percent of the weapons were locally manufactured.
This was disclosed by the Executive Secretary of the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons , Jones Borteye Applerh, at a short ceremony to destroy seized weapons in Sekondi.
The seized foreign weapons comprised of single- and double-barrelled rifles, pump action guns, and G3 rifles.
The rest are AK47 rifles, Mark-4 rifles, foreign pistols, and SMG rifle.
The objective of destroying the weapons, according to Mr Applerh, was to “enhance public safety and security and communicate to the public that anyone found with illicit weapon would be arrested and prosecuted whilst the unlicensed weapon is destroyed publicly”.
“It is also to build public confidence in the fight against the proliferation of small arms,” he added.
According to him, the Commission wants to be transparent with the public “that when weapons are seized, they are not kept for any other purpose but are destroyed at the appropriate time”.
Security a shared responsibility
The Board Chairman of the Commission, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong Manso, who is also the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, also remarked that the December 7 elections was an opportunity to show once again to the world the level of maturity of the “Ghanaian fledgling democracy”.
According to him, “the threats posed by electoral violence, if not properly managed risk rolling back the country’s development dividends”.
“The Commission therefore attaches great importance to actions to prevent and combat the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons particularly as we approach the elections., with its impact on human life especially before, during and after the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections,” he added.
Rev. Prof. Frimpong Manso urged the public to help the security agencies to protect the society.
“Security is a shared responsibility and I also urge the public to volunteer information on criminal activities especially those relating to small arms to the security agencies without hesitation for immediate action,” he said.
The weapons after being inspected by the dignitaries present were doused with petrol and set on fire.
The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons from 2005 to 2018 in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, the Ghana Armed Forces and other security agencies have seized and destroyed 10,052 illicit small arms.
In 2016, it destroyed over 1,319 and in 2018 more than 2,700 illicit weapons.
The dignitaries present included the Deputy Western Region minister and some heads of the security agencies.
By Shirley Ewurama Smith|3news.com|Western Region|Ghana