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WE’LL BUILD SECURITY AGAINST TERROR, SAYS AKUFO-ADDO

General News

The government has reacted to the attempted terrorist attack on Ghanaian soil in a northern border town, giving assurances that it remains committed to doing all it can to equip the security agencies to hold out against any jihadists or any group which may be plotting against citizens and the country.

The government has reacted to the attempted terrorist attack on Ghanaian soil in a northern border town, giving assurances that it remains committed to doing all it can to equip the security agencies to hold out against any jihadists or any group which may be plotting against citizens and the country.

 

In the past couple of years, there has been heightened security in response to terrorist group activities in countries along Ghana’s borders, particularly Burkina Faso, which is bearing the brunt of the attacks.

Giving assurances at a meeting with Ghanaians resident in Toronto, Canada, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo said his government will stay committed to the agenda of supporting security agencies with the necessary resources to contain any onslaught.

“We are doing our best to provide them with minimum equipment and minimum mobility and also logistical equipment, especially now that we are having problems on our north-east border because of the issues of Burkina Faso and the downward movement of the jihadists in West Africa,” the President told guests at the meeting.

Important lessons

“These are all very important lessons we have to take,” the President said. “The money continues to be problem, but we are hoping that as the economy develops, we will find more resources to deal with the problem.”

Meanwhile, a security analyst with the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre (KAIPKC), Fiifi Adu-Afful, has urged the clergy to boost security in churches and centres of worship to prevent possible terrorist attacks.

Dr Adu-Afful said the current trend of extremist attacks in Burkina Faso, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Mali, Niger and Nigeria is a strong signal that Ghana is a likely target.

There have been security alerts about impending terror attacks targeted at churches and other places of worship.

Precautions

Dr Adu-Afful also said it is imperative for Ghana to stay alert and take precautionary measures to avert such attacks.

In a related development, police in the Central Region have called on the clergy to consider banning the presence of handbags in churches to help in the fight against terrorism.

This, according to the Dominase Police Commander, Detective Superintendent of Police Paul Ankan, will help reduce the risk of terrorist attacks in places of worship.

Barely 48 hours ago, Hamile, a border town in northern Ghana, witnessed a terrorist threat when a Burkinabè stole his way in among the congregants at a Roman Catholic church. He was armed with a pistol which police say was registered in Burkina Faso.

Before the man could cause any havoc, he was confronted, resulting in his arrest by the district police.

He is in custody and has been placed under tight police monitoring.

Threat is real

The Boko Haram insurgency in Burkina Faso, Mali and Niger since 2015 has heightened, in spite of French military support and a French army presence in Mali to fight the scourge from bases there.

Particularly in Burkina Faso, jihadists have caused fear and panic in rural communities where agriculture is historically the line of work. This has pushed thousands of young people to flee to urban areas in search of work and shelter. All they find in the towns and cities is unstable or non-existent work.

The threat persists regardless of efforts by the military to contain the situation – at huge political costs to the current Burkinabè civilian government, which took over from the 27-year-long but democratic regime of Blaise Compaoré.

Burkina Faso is one of the countries in the West Africn subregion which, together with Benin, Ghana and Senegal, has experienced rapid GDP growth in the past year.