Conflict resolution expert, Emmanuel Bombande, says Ghana must see the Nairobi terrorist attack as a lesson to improve intelligence gathering and sharing.

The Executive Director of the West African Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), told Joy News: “Let me say without hesitation, that we score very low when it comes to the Ghanaian attitude to appreciate safety and be part of framework of contributing to security.”

More than 70 people, including Ghana’s Professor Kofi Awoonor, have so far been confirmed dead from last Saturday’s attack by the militant group, Al-Shabab, who attacked the Westgate Shopping Mall in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.

Mr Bombande remarked that the intelligence community alone cannot shoulder the responsibility of maintaining security, adding that the over 30 million Kenyans were not aware of their civil responsibility to detect and report such threats.

“We should learn from this and integrate it in our civic education in what it means to keeping our democracy, in what it means to open the spaces for active citizen engagement in our personal safety and protection”, he said.

Mr Bombande added that Ghana is not ready to deal with Kenya’s terrorist attack should it happen today.

He said government must now prioritize security and intelligence by training and equipping the country’s security agencies.

“Because if that day were to come and we are in need of them they cannot fail the state.”

The Trick

But there are suggestions Ghana should take a second look at her foreign policy, especially, regarding deployment of troops to countries partly taken over by insurgents in order not to incur their wrath.

But security analysts Emmanuel Sowatey told Joy News he does not necessarily share that view.

He said as a member of the international community, Ghana ought to contribute troops to maintain peace and order in other countries, which doesn’t mean Ghana would automatically be a subject of insurgent attack.

However, he said, “The trick is that you try to send the troop but also make sure that in sending the troop you consider your internal security. It is a delicate balance but the military, the diplomats, the politicians can do that.”

He also acknowledged that the geographical closeness could be a factor in such terrorist attack.

Live in fear

Kofi Asamoah, a Ghanaian currently living in Kenya told Joy News as at 12pm on Tuesday,the immediate surroundings of the Westgate mall was a bit calm.

He suspected that some people were still trapped in the mall because some families have reported of their missing relatives who work at the mall but were not among those recorded as killed or those rescued.

Kofi Asamoah reported that residents around the shopping centre have vacated their property and schools have been closed down as most people live in fear.