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When the economy sneezes, security sector also catches cold


When a country’s laws are flouted and its security in shambles, it is a strong indication that the economy is not viable.

The truth is that insisting on making new laws, beefing up the security agencies with personnel, new techniques, guns, and changing the ‘top guys’ in the security agencies without fixing the economy, at least to an appreciable level, are really not enough measures for solving insecurity.

When the economic situation becomes dire, insecurity and flouting of the country’s laws are naturally expected.

The Akan tribe in Ghana has a saying, “for a branch of a tree to pierce or gouge out one’s eye, you don’t cut it off, and rather you uproot the entire tree.”

The main cause of our country’s laws not being adhered to and the many other insecurity challenges we face today should be blamed largely on the economy, which has not ‘translated’ practically into the ‘fellow Ghanaians’ pockets on the streets.

When faced with survival constraints, the human being’s animalistic nature and survival instinct automatically come to the fore.

When this happens, most people think of their personal survival and security first, while rule of law and State security becomes secondary to them.

When the economy is deteriorating, one should not expect trust, honesty, and patriotism from most people; all these are reduced to lip service.

There are no many jobs. A lot of young people are left loitering about, trying to find ways and means to survive. Imagine a 30-year-old man or woman still living under his or her parent’s roof. This can be frustrating.

The basic instinct of every human person is to love and be loved. Once we don’t have the means (work and money) to achieve that, the other natural option is to revolt.

Some have reached the age of marriage but cannot take care of themselves, let alone take care of someone else.

This is also forcing a different kind of family lifestyle (single parenting), denying innocent children the joy of having both parents. Promiscuity and prostitution are on the increase as well.

This has pushed many ladies to become tricksters (gorging monies from different suitors or boyfriends at the same time); some guys have also resorted to scamming, armed robbery and murder.

For purpose of evidence, visit the US Embassy, and you will marvel at the number of Ghanaians who are doing everything possible to leave the country for whatever reason. In fact, you might even think Ghana is a war-torn country, with everyone trying to flee for their lives.

Today, many young people are flocking into nursing, teaching, becoming pastors or priests, and joining the different security agencies because these are assured areas of job opportunities one can base his or her hopes of making a living.

Gradually, these areas are also getting choked. A whole host of trained teachers and nurses are stacked in the house without jobs, how would they earn a living before they are gainfully employed?

On the flip side, logically speaking, the large number of young people trooping to these areas for jobs should tell us that not everyone is genuinely interested in these jobs but are in for the money. As already mentioned, these are the relatively well-paid jobs one can ‘make do with.’

Well, do not also be alarmed when such people are mainly interested in the money they will make from such jobs more than the services they are first and foremost supposed to render. Gone are the days when workers gained more satisfaction in the services they rendered than the remuneration they received. Now it is ‘money na hand back na ground.’

Many of those who even have jobs today are either not treated well at their workplaces or their salaries are nothing to write home about. This is the main factor that poses the security challenges we have as a country, especially these days.

Apart from the economic factor, which contributes almost 70% of the insecurity challenges in the country, there are also other factors:

‘High Scaled-lifestyle’: Most Ghanaians want to ‘live big’ and therefore, never content with what they have; you take a look at our funerals and weddings, they are as if there is no resurrection or life after the wedding. This creates so much unhealthy competition within families, churches, workplaces, young people, friends, and even on the roads when we are driving.

Fixation: Many graduates in Ghana are fixated and lazy, with no creativity and no initiative; the ‘employ me’ mentality. For them, it is not work unless it is a white-coloured job, or else life is not worth living.

Naked Corruption from top-down: This is a serious security threat to any country. The affluent always having their way to the detriment of the majority will always cause security unrest.

Porous Border System is another factor contributing to the insecurity challenges we experience. Foreigners literally paying their way through the borders and using unapproved routes have adverse repercussions. As much as we should not deny anyone legal entry into the country, especially for a good reason, we should also keep tabs on where they are going and what they are doing.

Every government or country owes her citizenry some dignified livelihood; boosting the economy by creating a significant job opportunities, having a development plan for the country; where political parties will rather showcase how they can achieve those plans and not dictating what a country wants, should be a ways out of the insecurity challenges we are facing.

Finally, fighting for the structures to work regardless of who is involved. The country’s systems do not often work because those to enforce them do not respect the structures themselves.

Jesus in the Gospel of (Jn. 10:12) once gave a beautiful comparison between a hired man and a shepherd. Probably, one could also substitute these two figures with a ‘spectator and citizen.’ When you live in, listen to, and see the things happening in the country, especially today, you wonder whether we are hired men and women in our own country or shepherds, who are to build and rule this country with zeal, love, compassion, and truthfulness. Let us pool our effort more into fixing the economy, and all other things shall be added unto us.


Source: Nicholas Nibetol Aazine, SVD

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