Government will deal ruthlessly with politicians found culpable in the proliferation of arms in the northern regions of Ghana, the northern regional minister has declared.

Moses Bukari Magbenba told Joy News the government will be excited to use a “big fish” as scapegoat in order to deter others from engaging in the illegal act.

“If we able to confirm or grab one person or more, [we will] deal with the person severely, I think it will send a clear signal to others that we are fed up with conflict in the north,” he said.

His comments come hours after two people – a driver and his ‘mate’ were arrested Sunday, with a cache of guns hidden under the driver’s seat, attempting to smuggle them into the Bunkpurgu district of the Northern Region.

The two denied ownership of the guns and were later Monday taken to court and remanded in prison custody.

According to reports, the two claim the guns belonged to some high profile politicians, an allegation the regional police commander of the Northern region has refused to corroborate.

The Northern and the two Upper regions of Ghana for years have served as a breeding place for conflict which has claimed dozens of innocent lives and destroyed properties.

Sophisticated weapons are known to have been used in those conflicts, with political heads and influential persons accused of smuggling those weapons into the regions.

Moses Bukari Magbenba said government will not shield anybody, found guilty of illegal smuggling of weapons.

He however dismissed assertions that the police were trying to protect the identities of those politicians, trusting the police to carry out a professional job.

A security expert Emmanuel Sowatey in an interview with Joynews said conflicts in the Northern and Upper Regions of the country have exacerbated largely due to the proliferation of arms in the regions.

Through the arms trade, people of different political and interest groups benefit immensely in the conflict situation, he said and urged government to use the recent suspects to get to the bottom of the problem

Story by Nathan Gadugah/