The National President of the Ghana Bar Association (GBA), Mr Anthony Forson Jnr, has called on government to build national consensus on security issues, to ensure the safety of the people.
He said the surge in criminal activities in the country had threatened the safety of persons and heightened the general feeling of insecurity in the country.
Security, Mr Forson Jnr noted was a yardstick for measuring and determining the level of good governance and democratic principles in society.
“A high sense of security in a state contributes essentially to economic growth and national investment. A country that is deemed to be safe attracts inter alia investors and tourists, who contribute to the foreign direct investment of the country’s economy,” he noted.
Mr Forson Jnr was speaking the 37th anniversary of Martyrs Day, organised in memory of the three murdered Justices of the High Court, and a retired army officer, in Accra, yesterday.
On June 30, 1982, during curfew hours, three high court Justices, Mr Justice Fred Poku Sarkodee, Mrs Justice Cecilia Koranteng-Addow and Mr Justice Kwadwo Agyei Agyepong, and Major Sam Acquah, a retired army officer, were abducted from their homes and savagely murdered.
Their bodies were soaked with petrol and set on fire, but a downpour that night quenched the burning bodies, leaving the charred bodies in a state of decomposition.
For the past 36 years, the Bar and Bench have mourned the death of these martyrs of the rule of law.
The event was attended by Vice President Dr Mahamud Bawumia, Chief Justice Madam Sophia Akuffo, the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo, as well as some members of the GBA.
The National President of the GBA, indicated that crimes such as armed robbery and kidnapping have been rampant in the past few years, adding that these activities lay bare the huge security lapse in the country’s security.
To address this, Mr Forson Jnr said, there was the need to tighten the country’s security belts, by increasing the budget allocated to security agencies as the United States and France had done.
Additionally, he noted that it was time for the citizenry to drastically change their attitude towards security, stressing that “it was time to re-assess the proverbial Ghanaian hospitality and to be extremely vigilant and be each other’s keeper.”
Mr Forson Jnr commended government’s efforts at increasing the logistical support for the Ghana Police Service.
Lauding the security agencies for apprehending the suspected kidnappers of the two Canadian women, he urged them to be proactive in finding the Takoradi kidnapped girls.
Delivering the sermon, Right Reverend Professor Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, said the righteous evolves a nation, and called on stakeholders to ensure that the law deals equally with offenders, including pastors.
He commended the judiciary for its efforts in promoting peace in the country.
BY ALLIA NOSHIE