Never have I been afraid for my life and that of my son than in an era where investigative journalists are murdered in cold blood and the police seem helpless to bring about justice.

 Even worse, people are murdered in their bedrooms in gated communities and the assailants appear to be enjoying freedom.

What can the poor, the ordinary Ghanaian, do when even in the serene atmosphere of a church a senior pastor can be murdered while service is still in session?

It has become dangerous to just wake up and go to church or work without fearing for what savagery awaits you. People fear for their school-going children. Who knows if they will return with life still in them or if they will be gang raped, kidnapped and violated by men of sinister motives?

People are afraid to operate their businesses. Who knows if men of depraved minds will storm there and possibly steal from them? Aren’t we on our own and God for us all?

How did we get here? Are we no longer the beacon of African peace? What happened? Unemployment, I mean youth unemployment.  That is how to manufacture a crime. How many criminals are gainfully employed in Ghana?

We have for years failed to address the question of the soaring number of graduates and their uneducated counterparts who have no means of livelihood. 

Even worse, they live in an economy where prices of goods and services keep soaring. People can no longer afford a decent standard of living; transportation has become very costly for those who drive and those who use commercial vehicles. Prices of food keep soaring.

What should people do especially at a time government’s promise to build factories to provide jobs for the youth has failed? Even those employed on temporal modules like NABCO are receiving demeaning salaries, even that is not paid promptly.

“At what degree of hunger will a man prefer a grain of corn to democracy?” questioned Bertrand Russell, who was referring to vote buying. I ask, at what degree of impoverishment would Ghanaian youth resort to Ponzi schemes, contract killing, robbery, indecent behavior and acts that fundamentally threaten state security?

While we charge the police to find the killers of Ahmed Hussein-Suale, Josephine Asante, and Rev. David Nabegmado, we may want to understand that crime is not just fought with guns and loud sirens. 

When people are gainfully employed and find meaning in life they may not engage in acts that endanger their lives.

We must be moved as a society to empathize with families who lose dear ones and property to crime, but can we ignore families whose members have taken on the indecent career of crime?

Criminals are not happy people. Not in the least. They live daily with the shame of a society that has pushed them to make a living by the gun. Nobody wants to be a criminal. And that is why as a society we must accept that we have failed to give our criminals alternatives which make them productive to society.

I look at the streets of Accra and beyond, and I see young men and women selling in the traffic. I see persons whose total investment in such a dangerous career on the road is less than GH¢ 50.

When you visit the business towns of Ghana at night after the shops have closed and you see beautiful girls sleeping in front of those shops with their babies you see people who are crying for alternatives.

When I see young men who finished university several years ago still roaming from one company to another in search of nonexistent jobs I see people looking for alternatives.

We must reach out to the criminals with decent jobs and they will reach out to us by putting off their criminal activities.

All those who lost their jobs during the banking crises will be happy to wear their suits again and return to work.

Source: Ghana | | Akyena Brantuo | [email protected]