By Frank Amponsah
The President, H.E Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has said the proliferation of small arms is not a conjecture but a factual phenomenon which is already fuelling significant conflicts in the West Africa sub-region.
He said the peace and security of any nation depends on the efforts government and State institutions made to control illicit arms trade.
President made these comments when management of the Small Arms Commission paid a courtesy call on him yesterday at the Jubilee House.
According to him, government’s proposals to do things for its people coupled with civil society initiatives of meeting and sustaining their set goals and project visions, would not make any significant effect if people continued to live in society of violence, insecurity and conflict.
He said government has decided to work closely with the Small Arms Commission, to make sure that “we are not consume by these raging fire that is consuming other people in West Africa.”
Nana Akufo-Addo also averred that government is trying to put in mechanism that would help bring the illegal acquisition of small arms practise to an end.
He said, measures are also underway to control the proliferation of small arms and locally made arms in order to ensure that these weapons do not fall in the wrong hands.
He congratulated the Chairman of the Small Arms Commission, Rev. Frimpong Manso and other members for the important service they will be rendering to Ghana by accepting to be on the commission.
The President also averred that the work of the commission is one of the most important aspect of the country’s development process considering the many years of mismanagement, unavailability of funds to Ghanaians and state organisations and lack of support from the Central government.
He pledged his government’s support for the Commission and said, “I am aware of the enormous task being given to you and I can assure you that government will do its best to support the Commission to facilitate its work.”
The Chairman of the Small Arms Commission, Rev. Frimpong Manso in his statement indicated that addressing the proliferation of small arms and large weapons will significantly reduce arm violence and conflicts in the country.
According to him, the Commission has put in place programs to prevent, combat and eliminate the proliferation of illicit small arms and large weapons and also ensure Ghana’s compliance under obligation on ECOWAS convention of small arms and large weapons and any other international instruments that Ghana is still a party.
He indicated that the Commission having operated for the last eight years, needs a review of the Act establishing it to clarify its mandates and powers.
He also said the time has come for a review of the current arm legislation in the country and that the Commission will, in due course, present a Bill to Cabinet for consideration.