The National Commission of Small Arms and Light Weapons in collaboration with the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Armed Forces, and other Security agencies have successfully destroyed a total of don’t thousand, one hundred and ninety-four (1,194) confiscated illicit weapons today. This activity was executed under the Weapon Destruction Programme, in Sekondi today.
The weapons according to the Commission were confiscated in the Western and Western North Regions. Executives Secretary for the Commission, Jones Borteye Applerh in his address at a short ceremony held at the Sekondi Prison Park disclosed that 94.9 percent of the weapons destroyed were foreign-made, with the remainder (5.1%) being locally manufactured ones.
This, Mr. Applerh explains is a worrying trend as it contravenes a long-held position that a chunk [80 percent] of weapons found in crime scenes are locally made.
He disclosed that out of the total of 1,068 of the foreign weapons destroyed, a majority were single and double barrel riffles (89.5%), 3.9 percent were pump-action guns, and 0.7 percent were G3 riffles. Others including AK47 riffles constituted 0.3 percent, Mark-4 riffles and foreign pistols 0.2 percent each, then SMG riffles 0.1 percent.
Mr. Applerh indicated that the destruction of these weapons had helped reduce the number of illicit weapons in the country. He stressed that the Commission is much particular about the safety and security of the public, especially during the elections. He mentioned that the government has made a substantial investment in enhancing the safety and security of the people.
“In addition, the Government is providing scanners, CCTV cameras, patrol vehicles among others to enhance their operations and to ensure public safety and security of all persons living in Ghana.
“Government’s effort alone would not be enough if citizens fail to play their part by volunteering information to the security agencies. It is in view of these that we call on all CSOs, Religious and Traditional Leaders, the Media, and all Ghanaians to rally behind the Commission’s effort in fighting arms proliferation in the country,” he noted.
The Board Chair for the Commission, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong Manso charged that the nation can’t compromise on its peace. He disclosed that Ghana ranks 3rd in Africa on Global Peace Index, a position he noted should not be traded for anything less.
He explained that the goal of the commission “is to deny criminals access to illegal weapons by ensuring that seized and confiscated weapons are destroyed to ensure that these weapons do not leak back into society.”
For her part, the Deputy Western Regional Minister, Gifty Eugenia Kusi urged the public to commit to peace, as the government does it bid to protect the citizenry. She noted that the government is mobilizing local blacksmith to support them diversify their operations into the production of household ware, and other items other than weapons.