A combined team of the police, military, Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) and Tema Development Corporation (TDC) Taskforce, have arrested eight Nigerien nationals in the bushes of Adjei Kojo near Ashaiman where illegal structures were razed down last week Tuesday, with deadly ammunition.
They had in their possession, about one thousand heavy cannon balls, which they were believed to be using to manufacture pellets and bullets for short guns and locally manufactured weapons, which are commonly used in most robbery cases.
The area, an encroached state-owned land, has also been a den of criminals, including AK47-armed land guards, some of whom are foreigners, who are busily selling government land earmarked by the TDC to be developed into a residential area, named Tema Community 23 and Community 24 respectively.
These armed land guards, from neighbouring countries, after selling the lands including those earmarked for roads, drains and other utility corridors, supervise construction work, attack and injure TDC workers, who dare to challenge them.
'The Herald' is informed that on the orders of Deputy National Security Co-ordinator in-charge of Operations, G. K. Kosivi-Degbor, the foreigners were handed over to BNI in Accra, for further interrogation, some two weeks ago.
According to insiders, the eight foreigners, were spotted in a bush with a Kia Truck at Adjei Kojo, near an uncompleted building, loading what was initially thought to be scrap metal.
Further search, near where they were loading the scrap metals, revealed that they had dug a long trench, covered with Nim tree leafs and beneath it were over 600 heavy cannon balls.
A search, through the loaded scrap metal, revealed that the Nigeriens had hidden over 200 of the heavy cannon balls with the scrap in the Kia truck, transporting it to an unknown destination.
Upon interrogation, the eight persons, including the driver confirmed they were from Niger. It is yet unclear, where they got the Cannon balls.
Ghanaian farmers in the area disclosed to the security men that the foreigners have been operating in the area for some time now.
The uncompleted building, near where the Cannon balls were found is said to belong to a certain serving Policeman.
Cannon is a large, heavy piece of artillery, typically mounted on wheels, formerly used in warfare. It uses gunpowder and other usually explosives to propel heavy balls called Cannon balls produced from iron.
In Ghana, cannons and cannon balls, can be found in some Castles, including the Cape Coast Castle, the Osu Castle, Elmina Castle, among other castles dotted across the country.
Cannon, were among the earliest forms of gunpowder artillery, and over time replaced siege engines—among other forms of ageing weaponry—on the battlefield.
In the Middle East, the first use of the hand cannon is argued to be during the 1260 Battle of Ain Jalut between the Mamluks and Mongols. The first cannon in Europe were probably used in Iberia in the 11th and 12th centuries. On the African continent, the cannon was first used by the Somali Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi of the Adal Sultanate in his conquest of the steppes of Ugaden in 1529.
It was during this period, the Middle Ages, that cannon became standardized, and more effective in both the anti-infantry and siege roles. After the Middle Ages most large cannon were abandoned in favour of greater numbers of lighter, more manoeuvrable pieces.
In addition, new technologies and tactics were developed, making most defences obsolete; this led to the construction of star forts, specifically designed to withstand artillery bombardment though these too (along with the Martello Tower) would find themselves rendered obsolete when explosive and armour piercing rounds made even these types of fortifications vulnerable.
Cannon also transformed naval warfare in the early modern period, as European navies took advantage of their firepower. As rifling became commonplace, the accuracy and destructive power of cannon was significantly increased, and they became deadlier than ever, both to infantry who belatedly had to adopt different tactics, and to ships, which had to be armoured.
In World War I, the majority of combat fatalities were caused by artillery; they were also used widely in World War II. Most modern cannon are similar to those used in the Second World War, although the importance of the larger calibre weapons has declined with the development of missiles.
Source: The Herald
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