Security threats: Asking for information good but not enough - Bombande
A former deputy Foreign Affairs Minister under the John Mahama administration, wants security agencies to do more than just requesting information from the public in dealing with the recent security upsets in the country.
Emmanuel Bombande believes that while it is good for the public to provide information, the security agencies must develop a comprehensive study which will put the security forces in the frontline while the public becomes the backbone.
“So, just as the security agencies prepare in their training to respond, you need the minimum civic education and awareness creation so that when you are asking the public to support the police with information, you need to also inform the public on what they should look for and how they should report, you then prepare them towards that.
“For that reason, I would have thought that by now, our National Peace Council, National Commission for Civic Education would have been convening the type of meeting to strategise the indicators and criteria on how to educate the public,” he added.
Ghana is on high alert following security-threatening occurrences in the past few weeks. The first, an arrest of a gun-wielding Burkinabe at a Catholic church at Hamile in the Upper West region, sparked terror alert concerns.
With about 10 terror attacks in that country in April and May alone, many Ghanaians fear the increasing number of Burkinabes into the country will jeopardise Ghana’s security.
Boarders have been tightened and more security personnel have been deployed to the Ghana-Burkina Faso border.
On Thursday, General Officer Commanding the Northern Command, Brigadier-General Francis Ofori encouraged the public to come to them with any information which will lead to the exposure of any threatening terror elements in their communities.
Not too long ago, a 30-year-old Indian man was also kidnapped in Kumasi by gun-wielding men. The kidnappers demanded a $500,000 ransom after sending photos of the victim to his family with a gun pointed to his head.
That aside, two Canadian nationals have been kidnapped in the Ashanti regional capital, Kumasi. Police have arrested an Uber driver over the kidnapping at the Nhyiaeso suburb and although the identity of the driver remains undisclosed, Joy News’ Ohemeng Tawiah reported the suspect is believed to be the driver who transported the Canadians from their hotel.
The police have confirmed the kidnapping. In a statement Thursday, they called on the media to be circumspect in their reportage.
The Police also called on the general public to volunteer useful information to assist investigators in their work.
But Mr Bombande wants more to be done.
Tengen Dunor was arrested Wednesday in Hamille, Ghana’s border town with Burkina Faso with a locally manufactured pistol
Citing the campaign undertaken to educate Ghanaians on the threat of the deadly Ebola disease, he said this security danger is just as frightening.
“Except that the threat of kidnapping and the spread of violent extremism and terrorism is not disease-threatening but it is equally a threat that can boomerang and reduce our image internationally, make us a country that could join the list of terrorist countries.
“All we need is one terrorist attack and we will be on the list of countries that have been attacked through a terrorist activity and it will take years to be able to clean our name and image out of that and became, again, the Ghana that we were,” the former deputy Foreign Minister said on Newsnite on Joy FM.
He said a coherent, effective and coordinated strategy is needed as response due to the multi-dimensional nature of the situation.