[Pt. 1] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us

What kind of world are we living in where there’re always new motivational speakers, religious leaders, and many more new penitentiaries springing up, yet the number of crimes being committed keep increasing, or at their best, do not decrease? I do not know why this is happening but I know that the presence of this antagonism has been largely due to the inept methods employed in addressing various problems facing our society, especially crimes committed by gangbangers.

Specifically, the primary cause of crimes, especially those involving armed robbery and other brutal ruffianism has not been duly attended to. Motivational speakers talk against these crimes, yet encourage people to be filthy rich in one way or the other, for if this is not the central theme of all such speakers, what then is? Religious leaders keep showering blessings on people who are able to donate significant amounts of money to their respective religious bodies; at the same time encouraging those who can’t do similar to try harder, in one way or the other.

Penitentiaries are being built, or expanded to accommodate the ever increasing number of criminals, but in actuality the function of prison services has not been fully achieved. Do they transform, or reform or they just punish internees? I believe they only punish them, and have no intent to transform or reform them, because you can only transform or reform a person by giving them what they need; and not by depriving them of it. So what do armed robbers, thugs, ruffians and all criminals in general need? They need love.

Visit a secluded part of town that harbors gangs, smokers, and other persons engaged in activities that do not conform to the societal norms or values. You are likely to find people who had no parents to give them that ‘parental love’ or whose parent(s) either died or neglected them along the way. This is not to say that lack of parental care should lead young people to indulge in nonconforming acts, as there have been several people who have flourished in ways that are accepted by the society with little or no parental love whatsoever. I do, by stating the absence of parental love in these places, imply that the cause of the rising tide of ruffianism could be due to the begging for love which is widespread in these areas.

I interacted with four very young adults living in one area in Kumasi noted for breeding all sort of societal nonconformists. One of them, Gabby by name, is addicted to alcohol. According to him, he wants to drink anytime he misses his mum. His mum died when he completed high school, just as he was about to begin his higher education. Due to his mother’s death, he was unable to continue his education because there was no one else to cater for his education. To make matters worse, close relatives that he believed could help him fund his education, disappointed him.

At this point, he lost all hope of possibly achieving his childhood dream that one day he would land a well paying job, and take care of his mother. He has lost his mother, nobody else seems to care about him, and what breaks his heart even more is his inability to continue his education to achieve his childhood dream. The story of the other three is not any different.

The only difference being that, unlike Gabby, their parents are still alive. The parents of one of them are themselves homeless. They hardly eke a living out of the jobs they do, so they left him to fend for himself at a very tender age. He hasn’t seen any of his parents in a long while, at least not after he moved to the ghetto he stays now with his other friends. When I asked them how they survive since they are not engaged in any active job, they couldn’t give any direct answer. However, according to people living around the area, they are engaged in various rotten acts such as bullying passers-by to do away with their belongings…

Read “[Pt. 2] Vice or Vengeance; Why Robbers Will Continue to Rob Us” here

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