We are yet to know what the mission of the gun-wielding Burkinabe was when he descended upon a Roman Catholic Church at Hamile in the Upper West Region. Of course, he could not have been there because of the mass. Given the proximity of Hamile to a terrorist-infested territory, his mission was anything but positive.
Ghana is no longer far away from the terrorists as we used to think whenever stories about the actions of the daredevil criminals made the headlines.
At the time the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra called for vigilance among church members recently, some might have at the time thought it was unnecessary to press the alarm button.
The Burkinabe gunman’s unwelcome appearance in a church at Hamile said it all about the danger near us, as a people. The days for taking security issues for granted are long gone.
It is in order when one of the top flight Catholic churches directs worshippers not to bear backpacks when coming to church or even clutching handbags. The terrorist who detonated an explosive device in Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing two hundred worshippers during the last Easter had the device hidden in his backpack. Churches and other public places with many people turning up must adopt measures that would enhance security.
Where it is possible, X-ray scanners must be acquired for the very big churches with large followings. Unusual times call for unusual responses. Failure to adopt appropriate responses can lead to irreversible consequences.
We salute the person who raised the alarm upon suspecting something unusual about the gunman who is now being investigated.
Had he lowered his guard, we possibly could have been writing a different story now. While we do not have to allow fear to affect our daily lives, we must nonetheless maintain a heightened sense of security; lowering our guards can be dangerous.
We have never been closer to a den of terrorists. We must adjust ourselves accordingly because, after all, these are not normal times with disciples of ISIS next-door.
While we do not have to interfere in the investigation process currently taking place in Wa, it is our opinion that the suspect be brought to Accra for a more detailed probe. We have learnt about how the suspect is not being cooperative with his interrogators and, therefore, not forthcoming with important details under the circumstances. This makes the subject even more complex and therefore requiring a tough approach.
Extracting important information from him can go a long way in helping us ward off the terrorist threat.
Won’t it be more beneficial if the man is brought to Accra for further interrogation by the BNI?