Ghana: All Must Be Involved in Securing Ghana

As part of the State of the Nation Address (SONA) he delivered in Parliament in Accra on Tuesday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo cautioned that the country can no longer take its territorial integrity for granted in the face of attacks from extremist groups operating in the sub-region.

He elaborated on how the State had equipped the security services or forces to make them ready to defend the country in case of any eventuality.

Matters of security call for the attention and action of everyone in the country and not just members of the security services even though they would be on the frontline just in case.

This is why we find it very crucial that Ghana has adopted the July 2010 U.S. Department of Homeland Security campaign "If You See Something, Say Something" to raise public awareness of the indicators of terrorism and terrorism-related crime, as well as the importance of reporting suspicious activity to the proper state and local authorities.

As elsewhere, the campaign in Ghana is meant to make all citizens watchdogs for their neighbourhoods, looking out for characters whose identity, movement, and presence raise questions.

Currently, we see the campaign concentrated in the border communities as they become easier access to infiltrators, especially for the fact that there are some unmonitored border crossing paths used to leave or enter the country.

For example, it is on record that there used to be 189 unmonitored border crossing paths with Burkina Faso alone and this is a country where extremists are wreaking some havoc that do not bode well for Ghana.

The government can talk about all the things it is doing to enhance security, yet it cannot ignore the involvement of the citizenry in securing the peace and tranquillity in the country.

It has universally been acknowledged that the highest level of modern-day security is to involve the citizens because any success regarding security cannot be achieved only on the battlefield.

At least, intelligence from the citizens is crucial.

To this end and considering the fact that some terrorist elements can find ways and means to infiltrate the country, we wish the Ministry of National Security would emphasise the importance of the campaign in other communities.

We are happy that President Akufo-Addo did not ignore internal security issues, particularly regarding land and chieftaincy disputes, citing the Bawku conflict as a classical example.

It is sad that in spite of all the efforts put in to contain these conflicts, some elements 'profiting' from them continue to fan them.

We all seek reconciliation in such disputes but it is about time the State contained them by any means possible to save the country lives and financial and material resources lost to them.

Regarding internal security, we appeal that the police especially would track and arrest robbers, fraudsters and other criminal elements who do give the people sleepless nights.

The sound security of the country is needed for everyone in the country to go about his or her activities without any threat whatsoever.

Therefore, the whole country must be sensitised to the importance of everyone's involvement to secure the country against external aggression and internal disturbances.

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