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Ghanaians cautioned against use of illicit guns

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Mr Kobby Acheampong, Deputy Minister of the Interior, on Wednesday cautioned  Ghanaians against the use of  illicit guns, particularly during elections in December.

He said Ghana’s reputation for conducting free and fair elections should be maintained, and the possessing of illicit weapons by some  people could pose security threat to the nation.

Mr Acheampong made the call at the launch of the community sensitization programme on small arms, organised by the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NACSA), in Accra.

The Nationwide programme that was on the theme: “Gun violence, a threat to our peace, security and development”  aimed to educate and sensitize the public on the negative effects of small arms, and the need to desist from using them to cause violence during the elections.

He said Ghanaians should consider elections as an event that would come and go, and try as much as possible to live peacefully, without engaging in any act that would create chaos and violence.

Mr Acheampong said, currently, the ease availability of small arms in communities, allowed people to violate the freedom of others, and asked Ghanaians to act responsibly and use due processes to seek redress during the elections.

He said government was putting measures in place to control the proliferation and trafficking of illicit small arms, by training, and supporting the security services with the requisite equipment to tackle the situation.

Nii Djamgba Vanderpuijei, Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, said the possession of small arms by people caused Africa $18 billion each year, and was responsible for the majority of wars in the world, and its consequences were yet to be measured globally.

He asked Ghanaians to uphold the rich Ghanaian culture of tolerance that bound them together, irrespective of their religious, cultural, ethnic, social and political affiliations.

Nii Djamgba Vanderpuijei said; “We all have to appreciate the fact that Ghana is the only country we have and we cannot afford to destroy the peace we currently enjoy”.

Nana Kofi Kakari, official of the Electoral Commission (EC), said peace ensures stability, and unity in diversity, development, and formed the bedrock of democracy, good governance and rule of law.

He appealed to all Ghanaians to support the EC to ensure free and fair elections, since the body could not achieve such success alone.

Nana Kofi Kakari advised the people to desist from electoral malpractice.

Mr Jones Borteye-Applerh, Acting Executive Secretary, NACSA,  said that despite government’s effort at stopping the use of illegal small arms, it remained a critical issue.

He said the sensitization programme would be carried out in other areas, including Ashiaman and Agbogbloshie in Accra, Bekwai and Asawasi, in the Ashanti Region, Atiwa and Akwetia in the Eastern Region and Chereponi and Yendi in the Northern.

Source: GNA

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