Yaw Osafo Maafo
SENIOR PRESIDENTIAL Advisor, Yaw Osafo Maafo, has called on Ghanaians to put aside all their differences and help to fight any acts of violent extremism that threaten the country’s stability and peaceful atmosphere.
“We as Ghanaians, regardless of our ethnic, religious, and political differences have a collective duty to protect our state against terrorism and violent extremism. We know that the terrorist groups, wherever they succeeded, exploited ethnic, religious, and political loopholes to unleash terror on people. If we are together, we are stronger.
“Cognisance of this fact, and with the benefit of examples of neighbouring countries where terrorism have rendered them nearly ungovernable, we must put our differences aside, and confront these threats with unity of purpose,” he added.
The campaign is spearheaded by the National Security Ministry in partnership with the Ministry of Information.
On his part, the Minister for National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah, said it is expected that through campaign and further education, the ministry will highlight the challenges in the sub-region regarding terrorism and other activities that threatens the security of the country and at the same time help increase awareness for such activities.
Minister for Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, remarked that despite the robustness of the country’s security apparatus, it has become prudent in line with contemporary security practices that government involves Ghanaians in maintaining the peaceful atmosphere in the country and safeguarding territorial integrity of Ghana.
He charged the media to support the government in educating the public and citizens on the importance of the campaign, by dedicating airtime for that purposes.
He underscored the need for us to come together as one people and fight the common enemy, noting that “if we will be successful in combating the threats that we face, we need a total organisation of our people to recognise first of all those risks, be alert and to play their parts in protecting our motherland.”
He encouraged any person who notices anything unusual about the security situation of his immediate environment to inform the various agencies by dialing 999 (toll free), or report the issue using any of the security agencies phone numbers or social media handles.
Government has made a passionate appeal to citizens to get involved in the fight against terrorism and violent extremism.
It follows the increasing terror attacks and worrisome intelligence reports in neighbouring countries.
The West African Region has in recent weeks been inundated with attacks by extremist elements, some of which have occurred as close as 50 kilometres from Ghana’s northern frontiers. Within the first quarter of 2022, out of the 346 terrorist attacks in various African countries, 49 per cent of them have occurred in the West African Region.
As recently as May 11, 2022, in Togo, about 15 assailants and eight military personnel were killed during a terrorist attack.
This has prompted government to put its security and intelligence agencies on heightened alert, and at the same time, bringing Ghanaians on board as part of a whole-of-government and a whole-of-society approach to mitigating security threats that confront the state.
As part of measures to rally stakeholders on the matter, a campaign dubbed, “See something, Say something” was launched in Accra on Tuesday, May 24, 2022.
The campaign is aimed at mobilising and providing citizens with more security education, and also deepen engagement with the Ghanaian public in line with contemporary security practices to counter acts of terrorism and violent extremism.