The Member of Parliament for the Wa West Constituency, Peter Lanchene Toobu, has called on religious leaders, to sensitize their congregants, about the activities and threats of extremist groups in the sub-region.
According to him, given the influx of extremist attacks in recent times, religious institutions must make it a priority, to alert their members in order to make them vigilant.
Speaking in an interview with Emefa Apawu on The Probe on Sunday, the NDC lawmaker stated that even though threats of extremists is not limited to Ghana, there is the need for the public to be sensitized accordingly.
“I want imams and pastors to be conscious enough and be able to preach accordingly. They need to build their sermons in line with the fact that every individual in this country, be it a Muslim or Christian, should be conscious of the possibility of an attack. And probably, this can inform the way we worship. This can inform the way we gather. This can inform the way we see strangers in our churches and in our mosques.
Gradually, the whole country will be conscious enough to appreciate the fact that, we are fighting this canker as a nation”, he said.
The MP also questioned the preparedness of the country, in the wake of a terrorist attack.
Earlier, the National Security Ministry said it is instituting new measures at public places of worship to avert terrorist attacks in the country.
In a letter dated May 12 and addressed to heads of religious groups in the country, the security agency stated that following the increasing concerns over the expansion of terrorist groups in the sub-region, these measures have become necessary to protect the country.
Among other things, the Ministry disclosed that there would be the installation of CCTVs at designated public places of worship.
Other measures include engaging the services of approved private security guards at the places of worship among others.
The agency noted that “while the Ministry of National Security is collaborating with the relevant State Security and Intelligence Agencies to institute measures to avert terrorist attacks in the country, your outfit is urged to enhance security, particularly in areas where mass gatherings are conducted”.
But while contributing to discussions on The Probe on Sunday, Peter Toobu indicated that the measures are not enough. Stating that, there is the need for extensive public awareness on the threats of extremists.
Meanwhile, 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’.
Joining the discussion 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.
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.
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