Crime, by all accounts, is now commonplace in our small country. Around the regions, violence and crime in the form of armed banditry, communal upheavals, attacks on Security Forces are daily occurrences,
Tamale has not been spared the crime wave. It has had its share of social violence that has defied reasoning and sent shock waves around the city.
In response, authorities in Tamale have done their utmost to contain the crime spree. The city’s police force has left no stone unturned in its fight to stop criminals dead in their tracks.
To this end, they have fished criminals out of their hideouts, disrupted their activities and in the process spared Tamale agonizing moments and sleepless nights.
For these gallant efforts, our police officers must be duly applauded for taking the fight to the hardcore criminals intent on making life unlivable in the metropolis.
However, the efforts of our uniformed brave men and women have not been enough to deter the violent gangsters. Which explains why politicians who disparage our police officers are doing a great disservice to the fight against criminal gangs in Tamale.
And the reason is simply this: the bad guys continue to maraud around the city, sowing discord, terrorizing innocent residents, murdering police officers and generally making Tamale a living hell.
Against this scary background, Tamale residents are understandably petrified, and justifiably so. They want the criminals stopped at all cost before they take over the city and destroy the progress it has made in terms of peace and attracting investors from far and near.
The city has come a long way to allow a bunch of violent criminals to send it back to yester years. Tamale was once immune from violent crime. Of course, petty crime was not uncommon.
Overall however, Tamale at least, the city of my youthful days, was peaceful and life was to all intents and purposes remarkably good. But, boy, how times have changed!!! Tamale is now a huge metropolis, one of the fastest growing cities in the whole of Africa.
Nonetheless, the rapid urbanization of the city in the last thirty years has brought in its wake all the ills associated with metropolitan areas. Tamale is not different from New York City or Lagos. Like those mega cities, Tamale is now synonymous with crime. And that in itself is disheartening.
It is therefore gratifying to hear that the Northern Regional Security Council has launched an operation appropriately dubbed “All Out War” against criminal elements in the metropolis. It could not have come soon enough.
The Council, I believe, is determined to restore Tamale to its glory days of the 1970s where peace reigned supreme and the only criminals around were pickpockets who posed no existential threat to residents.
It must be acknowledged, however, that the fight against crime in Tamale will certainly not be a walk in the park. Dangerously armed, prowling bandits have declared an open season on Tamale residents and on our police officers.
They have laid siege to our beloved city and are holding it hostage. It will take the combined efforts of our security agencies and the cooperation of civilians to chase the criminals out of town and bring a measure of hope back to our great city.