Wa — More than 800 people from neighbouring Burkina Faso have fled to some communities in border towns of Sissala East and Sissala West district in the Upper West Region respectively, to escape possible attacks on their lives in the wake of terror attacks by extremist groups in their country.
The Upper West Regional Minister, Dr Hafiz Bin Salih, who made this known stated that some of them had settled down on the account of certain community chiefs who had welcomed and given them plots of land to farm for livelihood.
Dr Salih who was speaking when the Local Council of Churches (LCC) in the region paid a courtesy call on him on Wednesday at his office, noted that the Regional Security Council, (REGSEC) had kept the situation under control to ensure that their presence did not interfere with the peace and security of the country.
The LCC made the call on the minister to congratulate him on his assumption of office, and also to articulate their fears as a religious body in the face of threatening terrorist attacks for redress.
"We have deployed security personnel to these areas to ensure that they do not move further into the region and interfere with the security of natives," he stated.
Dr Salih touched on the predicted terrorist attack on the country by Islamist Jihadists and said: "I am a Muslim but I was not appointed to this office as an Imam, I am a father for everyone in this region, hence together with the REGSEC, we would deliberate extensively on how to protect lives and properties of not only Christians but also Muslims as well."
Dr Salih however, calmed the waters when he said the rumours of the attacks were not as alarming , as had been made to appear in the media and assured them that the government was working with all the intelligence they could access to effectively protect the citizenry.
Speaking on behalf of the LCC, the Chairperson, Apostle George Apasera, mentioned, among other things, the need to provide churches with state security and also allow the churches to employ the services of private security firms to safeguard their welfare.
"We cannot take for granted predictions by the African Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies that northern Ghana may suffer terror attacks from Islam extremists due to the glaring evidence of things happening in neighbouring countries," he expressed.
Apostle Apasera called for education and training to be given to leadership of the churches on how to screen people who enter their premises with security apparatus to prevent the entrance of dangerous individuals.
Apostle Apasera, who is also the General Overseer of the Christ Frontiers Mission International at Wa, urged the regional minister to devise ways by which sermons that had the potential of inciting religious conflict would be taken off the media space.
He also appealed for the sensitisation of Muslim youths on the need to avoid people who would try to lure them into joining Jihadists groups to cause harm to their fellow Ghanaians.