The Minister for National Security, Albert Kan Dapaah, has cautioned Ghanaians to be vigilant in public gatherings in the country due to growing threats of terrorism in the West African sub-region.
Mr Dapaah revealed that the public must be vigilant and extra careful about their personal and communal security. He explained that most of Ghana’s neighbors have unfortunately suffered attacks from the terrorist groups as their activities have spread from the Sahelian region towards the coastal West-African States.
Contained in a statement dated May 17, 2022, he noted that countries such as Burkina Faso, La Cote d’ivoire and Togo have all experienced such attacks and his outfit recognizes that the country “remains a target as the security services work to keep us all safe”.
“The Ministry is making a strong appeal for heightened vigilance in areas of mass gatherings, especially at public places of entertainment and worship, such as churches and mosques. The employment of guards, security gadgetry and lighting of the areas surrounding the areas of public gatherings would all help, but nothing beats the vigilance of each of us individuals, taking personal responsibility and looking out for each other.”Albert Kan Dapaah
The Minister for National Security indicated that the appeal is being made because “there is good reason to believe that the terrorists operating within the region have Ghana as a target”. This, he explained, calls for the need to increase security measures and engage the public to be more careful.
“We urge the managers of public places and gatherings to be extra vigilant. We want to reassure the public that the security agencies and all those charged with maintaining the security of the state are working hard to ensure the safety of our country and its people and we count on your continuing support in this endeavour.”Albert Kan Dapaah
Calls for tightened security in the country
Prior to this, the Deputy Defence Minister, Kofi Amankwa-Manu, warned that considering the current activities of terrorists in the sub-region, there is the need for Ghana to pay more attention to its security. Citing a recent extremist attack in Togo, he cautioned that the attackers have devised very sophisticated ways of inflicting damage, as such, there is the need for Ghana to stay alert.
“So we cannot sit and fold our arms, thinking that all is well. All is not well. And we need to prepare. We need to be vigilant. We need to really, like we say in Ghana, ‘shine our eyes the more’. Because if you look around, all the countries around Ghana, in one way or the other have been hit. We are the only country left standing. If I say we’re the only country left standing, talk of Burkina they’ve been hit; talk of Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, they’ve all experienced this bitter pill from these extremists.”Kofi Amankwa-Manu
Mr Amankwa-Manu expressed that considering the southward movement of these groupings, it is apparent that they’re looking to find a coastal country to attack. He explained that due to this Ghanaians must “shine our eyes and then really try to fight this crime”.
The concerns for increase security in the country comes in the wake of a recent report by the West Africa Center for Counter-Extremism (WACCE), which suggests that Ghana’s political stability may be disrupted due to terrorism in the Sahel and other domestic challenges in the country such as youth unemployment.