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When Soldiers Turn To Armed Robbery   
 
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27-Sep-2011  
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News about alleged armed robbery or other criminal activities by men from the colours is more scary than one executed by masked men of the underworld.

The dying days of last week were greeted by the stark reality of the arrest of four regimented men. One of them though has already returned his kits to the quartermaster after being cashiered from the military as reported exclusively by one of the issues of the Daily Guide.

Questions were posed by expectedly agitated Ghanaians, especially those who have ever been victims of armed robbery, as to the implications of the development, given its negative impact on the ongoing joint police/military operations against the menace.

Should motorists stop when flagged to do so by men in olive green uniforms or black as in the case of policemen? Would it be lawful for such motorists to ignore the orders of suspicious-looking uniformed men to stop and drive off risking being shot at or arrested and charged with one of the many labels in the statute books? This is the dilemma law-abiding citizens find themselves in when such unusual occurrences are reported.

It is important to note that the military and other security organizations belong to the Ghanaian community and therefore prone to the many challenges facing the country. Recruitments of personnel into such services are done from the larger Ghanaian society and so the security agencies are just extensions of Ghana, a microcosm of the country if you like it. For this reason, therefore, it is not unusual to occasionally witness such aberrations which, strictly speaking, are not the norm.

Perhaps, it is why we decided to highlight it so a national conversation of sorts can be prompted with a view to seeking a remedy. It is not as if there is an absolute means of ensuring that only persons without blemish are recruited into the military, the police or other security agencies. The constitution of men cannot be determined by their looks and so the recruiting officers can be spared.

We are aware of the standard practice of scrutinizing the background of prospective recruits and officer cadets before they pick up their regimental and GH numbers.

Such standards have however been compromised somewhat by the very troubles which have eaten deep into our society and robbing us of the old time goodness associated with our country.

Sparing recruitments the politics which has pervaded all segments of society will go a long way in ensuring that bad nuts do not slip through in the forces. The occasional nabbing of bad nuts in the security agencies is the result of the interference of politicians in such recruitment exercises to a certain extent.

It is reassuring to note however that the military still has some of the finest set of Ghanaians who are willing to stake out their necks and do the right things even as politicians breathe down their necks.

These are the professionals for whose sake the colours have been able to withstand all the political shocks brought to bear upon their operations over the years.

We are, by this commentary, seeking to allay the fears of our compatriots so they can be spared the challenges of musing over their safety in the face of such scary stories about marauding soldiers on our highways.

 
 
Source: Editorial (D-Guide)
 
 

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