President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has commended two residents of Hamile, in the Upper West Region, for their vigilance in foiling a potential attack on the Roman Catholic.
Addressing the 2019 Eid ul-Fitr celebrations, on Wednesday, President Akufo-Addo stated that “I applaud the vigilance of Messrs. Gregory Bangbeme and George Bonfodong, members of the Roman Catholic Church in Hamile, in the Upper West Region, who, together with the Church leaders, alerted the Police about the presence in the Church of an armed person, who turned out to be a national of our neighbouring country of Burkina Faso.”
He, thus, urged the Ghanaian people not to let agents provocateurs destroy the country’s unique way of life, in the face of threats and actual attacks by Christian and Muslim miscreants in the West Africa Region and other parts of the world.
Police last week detained the Burkinabe caught with the foreign pistol at a crowded Catholic Church in Hamile.
Police say the man, whose name has not been released, could not explain why he had the gun on him.
The gun was loaded with two rounds of ammunition, police reveal.
The suspect told the police it was his first time at the church since he moved to the town six weeks ago.
The incident comes at a time when authorities are tightening security at Ghana’s border as a Salafi-Jihadist group based in Burkina Faso attacked residents in February.
The militants on February 15, 2019, killed four Burkinabe customs officers at a checkpoint at Nohao near the Ghana border and burnt three vehicles. They also killed a Spanish priest.
Speaking on Wednesday, June 5, at the Eid ul-Fitr celebrations, the President said “we do not ever want this phenomenon to occur in our country. Whilst the security agencies work to keep all of us safe, I encourage you to report suspicious characters, who come into your communities to take advantage of our well-acclaimed hospitality to unleash mayhem on our country, to the Police.”
The President added, “Let us also exercise restraint in the face of provocation, for a lack of restraint will only feed into the destructive plans of these miscreants, who seek to destroy in the name of religion.”
In order for the country to benefit immensely from the developmental agenda of his government, the President noted that the peace being enjoyed in the country must be maintained.
“Today, we are the envy of the world when it comes to the peaceful co-existence of different religious communities. I believe the visit of the National Chief Imam to Christ the King Church to meet with Father Campbell, its Parish Priest, as a gesture of solidarity, should be duly celebrated. The BBC and other international news networks carried this singular act because it rarely happens anywhere else,” he added.
Recently, during the Vice President’s Ramadan tour, President Akufo-Addo noted with satisfaction how heads of all the major Christian churches in Kukuom, in the Ahafo Region, joined the Vice President at the mosque in Kukuom.
Again, last week Saturday, the Darkuman branch of the Seventh Day Adventist Church dedicated that day as “Muslim Relations Day”, and all its congregants dressed like Muslims, and served fruits, later in the day, to the mosque closest to their church.
“These and many more beautiful spectacles, that unfold in our country, should not be taken for granted. We must continue to work to preserve our culture of religious tolerance. We cannot surrender this beautiful way of life for anything, and, certainly, not to people who seek to pervert religious beliefs” he added.