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General News of Friday, 31 March 2017


Ghana will be caught unawares if hit by terror attack - Security analyst

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Ghana needs to tighten security or elevate advocacy concerning approach to security issues else the country “will be caught sleeping” in the likelihood of a terrorist arrack, Dr Philip Attuquayefio, Senior Research Fellow at the Centre For International Affairs and Diplomacy, Legon, has admonished.

“If we analyse terrorism in the last five years I think we will all come to the conclusion that there is a possibility of an incidence of terrorism in Ghana, but I pray it doesn’t because if it does we will be caught sleeping and dreaming,” he explained.

Commenting on the possibility of a terrorist attack in the country due to recent developments in the past few years in West Africa and in the UK last week, Dr Attuquayefio, who was a guest on Class FM’s World Affairs on Friday, March 31, said the West African sub-region is a “hotbed so far as international terrorism is concerned”. He was concerned about the porous nature of the borders in West Africa and how terrorists can exploit that to “easily evade arrests and jump from one country to the other”.

He questioned the level of training for security officers at various public institutions, noting that most were not abreast of modern ways by which terrorists operate.

“If you check the cases that has happened in West Africa, you see that the people don’t come concealing themselves and so often what they do is to show up, execute all the people at the [security] post and take their own positions and start executing [their targets] at will,” he elaborated after a follow-up by show host Etse Sikanku.

According to him, it was obvious most private security personnel do not know that “the tactics have changed” as terrorists no longer hide and suddenly emerge “to come and perpetrate terrorism action”, adding: “…We are not thinking; how often don’t we walk into any of the malls around with some ease? How many metal detectors do you find at our departmental stores in Ghana, but these are issues that countries in the sub-region are taking seriously.”

Contributing to the discussion, security analyst Nana Owusu Sekyere said he would have thought “that in the grand scheme of our developmental agenda security will come first” because without security and peace, economic development will be affected.

He added that the Global Index for 2016 captured Boko Haram and ISIL contributing to 40 per cent of deaths globally from terrorism.

“What is even more scary [are] the splinter groups, that is al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), you have al-Shabaab, you have Boko Haram, and you have ISIL and other splinter groups all operating in Africa,” he said.

“This makes our continent very dangerous and that is why Ghana should not sit and be smiling and tickling ourselves that we are very safe.”