Deputy Defence Minister, Kofi Amankwa-Manu, has warned that given the current activities of terrorists in the sub-region, there is the need for Ghana to pay more attention to its security.
According to him, ‘all is not well’.
Speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu on The Probe on Sunday, the Deputy Minister cited a recent extremist attack in Togo; cautioning that, the attackers have devised very sophisticated ways of wreaking havoc, therefore the need for Ghana to stay alert.
‘So we cannot sit and fold our arms, thinking that all is well. All is not well. And we need to prepare. We need to be vigilant. We need to really, like we say in Ghana, ‘shine our eyes the more’. Because if you look around, all the countries around Ghana, in one way or the other have been hit. We are the only country left standing.
If I say we’re the only country left standing, talk of Burkina they’ve been hit. Talk of Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, they’ve all experienced this bitter pill from these extremists. And when you look at the southward movement of these groupings, clearly, one thing is obvious, they’re looking to find a coastal country” he said.
Kofi Amankwa-Manu, who is also the MP for Atwima Kwanwoma, mentioned Cote D’Ivoire as one of the countries of interest, adding that, “We in Ghana, must begin to, like I said, shine our eyes and then really try to fight this crime”.
In his opinion, the activities of extremists can be described as a crime because they end up destroying valuable lives and properties.
Having emphasised the need for Ghana to be on the lookout, he however revealed that Ghana’s security apparatus, are on standby to mitigate any invasions from the lurking extremists in the sub-region.
The concerns by the Deputy Defence Minister, come in the wake of a recent report by the West Africa Center for Counter-Extremism (WACCE), which says Ghana’s political stability may be disrupted, in the wake of terrorism in the Sahel and other domestic challenges in the country such as youth unemployment.
In a report by the regional security research organisation, it said even though Ghana has been relatively peaceful over the years, there is the likelihood of an upsurge, due to recent happenings in the sub-region, and neighbouring countries such as Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast.
WACCE maintained that the threats of political instability can, however, be forestalled if measures are put in place to prevent the impending dangers.
“The threat of terrorism is increasingly descending from the Sahel towards the Coastal States. Today more than 53% of all ECOWAS states are experiencing insurgencies. The pervasive spillover phenomenon makes Ghana’s border regions a key area of concern.
“Recent attacks in Benin, Togo and Ivory Coast highlight the determination of the terrorists to expand beyond landlocked Sahelian countries, where the insurgency has devastated thousands of lives and property in the last decade.
“Ghana has a big number of prolonged unresolved chieftaincy and ethnic conflicts and tensions, particularly in the Northern regions.
“The inherently high exploitative capacity of extremists implies that these vulnerabilities put Ghana in danger of terrorist exploitation”, a summary of the report revealed.
The report further stated that “Many analyses project the pervasive youth unemployment rate of about 59% as one of the biggest risks. The present government set up the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO) to absorb the high number of unemployed graduates, most of them temporarily.
The growing joblessness has driven many onto cyberspace to live in an illicit economy.
The determination of social activists such as the #FixTheCountry campaigners to exploit the security, economic and governance challenges amplifies the risks associated with youth grievances.
The above highlight the widespread nature of the threat to Ghana and underscores the importance and urgency needed to escalate national commitment to preventing the threat from spilling into Ghana”.
Find below, a copy of the security report by the West Africa Centre for Counter-Terrorism.
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