Mr Kan Dapaah, Minister for National Security
The country’s security agencies are on high alert and ready to crush any terrorist infiltration into our sovereign state.As a result, the National Security Ministry has issued a statement directing all religious organisations to beware of strange persons within their congregation.
This followed recent terrorist attacks in neighbouring Republics of Burkina Faso and Togo.
In a letter to the various religious organisations dated May 12, 2022 and signed by Maj-Gen Francis Adu-Amanfoh (rtd), National Security Coordinator, he said in view of the development in the neighbouring countries, it was imperative that precautionary measures are taken by all stakeholders.
The letter, with the heading: ENHANCING SECURITY AT VARIOUS PUBLIC PLACES OF WORSHIP reads:
In view of the growing threat of terrorism from the sub-region and the expansion of drive of terrorist groups towards coastal West African states, with a renewed modus operandi of targeting public gathering, including places of worship, it is imperative that precautionary measures are taken by all stakeholders.
It would be recalled that in 2013, al-Shabab militants attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, leading to the death of about sixty (60) people, including the late Prof Kofi Awoonor, a revered Ghanaian poet and author.
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, especially in areas where mass gatherings are conducted.
These measures may include, but not limited to, the installation of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras at designated places of worship and engage the services of approved private security guards among others.
Although the above directive has become necessary, the Ministry of National Security assures you of our continuous resolve to institute measures aimed at safeguarding the peace and security of the country.
The letter was copied to the Inspector General of Police (IGP), National Chief Imam, Chairman, Christian Council of Ghana, Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council.
Meanwhile, a renowned security analyst, Col Festus Aboagye (rtd) has told The Chronicle in a telephone interview that the identification of strange people must be the immediate concerns of every Ghanaian everywhere.
Col Aboagye further stated that the authorities must not stop at the letters issued to the religious bodies but follow up with continuous organised seminars to sensitise the citizenry.
He dilated on the fact that no amount of armaments can wardoff terrorist activities without being supported by intelligence from the people.To this end, the retired military officer has implored the authorities to involve the landlords/landladies to be curious about tenants in their homes.
The transport organisations, filling station operators, he went on, are close allies in this endeavor.
He suggested the deployment of metal and explosive detectors to conduct checks on cargo trucks, especially those conveying charcoal from the hinterland to the cosmopolitan areas, since the elements would not carry arms openly.
On the levels of threat, Col Aboagye appeals to the mandated agencies to constantly update the public as it has started doing.