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General News
Rawlings'' comments on armed robbery ''rubbish'' - Malik Baako 7/5/2009

The Editor-in-Chief of the New Crusading Guide newspaper, Mr Malik Kweku Baako has described comments by former president Rawlings on the spate of armed robbery in the country as “baloony, rubbish, pathetic, irresponsible and highly disgusting.”

He said the conduct of the former president was uncharacteristic of a statesman.

Mr Rawlings during a courtesy call on him by government officials who hail from the Volta Region, made comments to the effect that detractors of the government were orchestrating the robberies in the country to create insecurity.

“They are at it again. You don’t need to be a mathematician to tell who is doing this. This time they have even extended it to foreign nationals who have invested in the country and when they kill, they disembowel their victims and supposedly take body parts to paint a picture of ritual murders. …The investment climate is so undermined,” Mr Rawlings said.

The former president said that “had President Mills acted swiftly and early enough, the opponent wouldn’t have been so emboldened to pick up arms to terrorize the people again.”

But speaking on Joy FM''s news analysis programme, Newsfile, Mr. Baako said the comments could only emanate from a person with a vicious mindset.

“What Mr. Rawlings was saying, I don’t understand. One, is he saying there is an upsurge in armed robbery to the extent that it has frightened the investor community? That would be in sharp contrast to what we’ve been told in recent times. We’ve been told that in terms of statistics from the police, the phenomenon of armed robbery has gone down. And then you have an ex-president who is the founder of the ruling party saying there is an upsurge in armed robbery,” he said.

Mr Baako wondered why the former president did not provide that information to the appropriate agencies to deal with the menace of armed robbery in the country.

He expressed regret that former president Rawlings will politicize a critical issue such as armed robbery.

The social commentator said assuming Mr Rawlings has such information of such value, putting it out in the public domain and politicizing it, makes the information difficult for the police to act on.

“The police then are not sure what to do and how to do it (because) any attempt to do something, politics will be read into it,” he noted.

Quoting from a book written by criminologist, Prof. Ken Attaffuah, Mr Baako said there was a huge upsurge in armed robbery in between 2005 and 2007 when the NPP was in power.

“Could it have been said that it was the opponents of the NPP that were behind that phenomenon in order to make the government uncomfortable or unpopular? he asked.

“No”, he answered, adding that “now the NPP is out of office and there are some armed robberies going on and it is the NPP that is responsible for it or opponents of the NDC that are responsible for that.”

But a leading member of the ruling National Democratic Government, Mr David Annan disagreed with Mr Baako.

He surmised a number of convicts pardoned by former president Kufuor are perpetrating to robberies.

He stated that some of the people that were released were convicted of armed robbery and questioned the motive for releasing them.

Read the original story here

Story by Malik Abass Daabu

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