More than 700 small arms and other weapons seized from armed robbers and those wielding them illegally were set ablaze at a ceremony at Nima yesterday.
It was supervised by Vice-President Aliu Mahama.
The burning of the weapons was to underscore the mood of Ghanaians and to serve as a warning that illegal arms were not needed in the country because of their destructive nature.
After symbolically setting the weapons ablaze, Alhaji Mahama asked Ghanaians to commit themselves to the toil and sacrifices so far made to develop the country.
“We have worked very hard over the years to put our country and its various structures and institutions on a sound footing and we cannot afford to derail this peaceful process of nation building,” he added.
The destruction took place under the auspices of the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms and the Ministry of the Interior.
“In our struggle for sustainable development, we need to take steps to curb the flow of small arms in society.
It is in this vein that I, therefore, applaud the laudable steps being taken by the Ghana National Commission on Small Arms, civil society groups and the nation's development partners to achieve this goal of reducing armed violence to the barest minimum,” Vice-President Mahama said.
He made reference to the upcoming general election and said, “After the December 7 general election, life will still go on.
Children will continue to go to school, market women will go to the market and sell their wares, workers will go to their various workplaces and this beloved country of ours will still be Ghana, the beacon of hope for Africa.”
The Minister of State at the Interior Ministry, Nana Obiri Boahen, explained that this year's weapons destruction programme had been planned to drum home the message that the country, particularly civilians, did not need to arm themselves when elections were about to be held.
He used the occasion to advise all to shun the use of any gun or weapon on fellow human beings, particularly in the run up to the elections, saying, “Let's cultivate the spirit of peaceful co-existence; we should learn to be tolerant of one another's opinions and use dialogue as a means of resolving conflicts.”
The Chief Imam, Sheikh Nuhu Sharabutu, whose speech was read on his behalf, asked the youth to desist from being used to foment trouble in society.
Story by Charles Benoni Okine