It is a season of good tidings but unfortunately, a few miscreants have turned it typically into a time for everyone to stay up and worry because our safety and peace are not guaranteed. Not even on the roads.
It had just gone past eight o’clock last Monday night. Vehicular traffic was at its peak and vehicles had come to a standstill on the Kaneshie market road heading towards the point popularly referred to as first light. Typical of Kaneshie, there was a lot of life on that stretch of the road. Street hawkers, as usual, were there in their numbers, crisscrossing vehicles with no regard for their lives. The vibrancy of selling on that road made one wondered whether Christmas had made its first stop in Kaneshie.
On that day in question, I had given two young ladies a ride from an evening programme. We were relaxed chatting away as we waited for vehicles to move. Suddenly, we heard a loud metal-like hit on the driver’s side of our vehicle. Then I turned and it was a young man. Luckily our windows were all rolled up and we were securely locked in.
Bad intents on the road
The man moved a few steps and quickly hit twice, the passenger’s mirror on the left. This time the hit was even harder with the same metal-sounding object. We were all confounded that despite the busyness on the road, this young man could do what he did. We then concluded that it was someone with evil intent to break the glass or get us to come down to inspect the car and then attack us. We were perhaps wise not to have opened our doors for any inspection or questioning. Traffic started to move and so we also moved on.
The incident reminded me of the season we are in and how miscreants would take advantage of such busy occasions to rob or cause mayhem. But perhaps the best message falling out of the incident is the security educations of the day, “When you see something, say something”.
And so I thought I would use this column to draw attention, serve reminders and sound caution for people to be alert and watchful. Whether on the road, in the market, shop or even at home, these criminals are already ahead and planning their moves around us.
In times like this, these miscreants target slowness in traffic movement to spring surprises like snatching of bags, mobile phones and other valuables from drivers and passengers. I find the poor nature of some inner-city roads which forces vehicles to slow down as inducements for attacks in traffic. The Kaneshie-Mallam road is deteriorating fast in certain portions and gives cause for concern. It is a very busy stretch for vehicular movements with it serving as a link to many communities in the West of Accra and further down to the Central and Western Regions.
From the first bridge in front of the Kaneshie market, potholes and manholes have developed at certain portions of the road for quite some time now. They naturally slow down vehicles and of course, give those with evil intents the opportunity to ply their pranks.
The worrying bit is that they have become very emboldened in their escapades. Who would have thought that though dark, even in a busy environment someone would step forward boldly to attack a waiting vehicle in traffic? It only goes to underscore the times we are in. Ordinarily, one would call for more “on-the-beat” officers to be on inner-city roads both day and night. Their presence no doubt helps not only to protect law and order but also deters wrongdoers.
However, one is also aware that such a demand may be a bit much for the police service. They have cried time and again that they do not have enough men and women for such 24-hour duties. The onus falls back on us as citizens to take our personal security seriously and be conscious at all times and in all places during the season while the police do whatever their strength can provide topped with constant reminders on what citizens should do.
As we enter the season of Christmas, early mass education by the Police, the National Road Safety Commission and other agencies concerned with safety on our roads are due. They should intensify their campaigns on safety awareness, drumming our ears and indirectly chasing away the miscreants. The promptings using the media in particular, always help. It is time to roll up, keep locked in and stay alert.