General News of Saturday, 18 May 2019
Security analyst, Adam Bonah is calling for the regulation of religious facilities in the country by the state.
His call comes on the back of warnings of a possible attack on religious bodies in Ghana following similar happenings in some other countries in recent times.
Last week, the Africa Centre for Security and Intelligence Studies (ACSIS) issued a security alert that the Salafi Jihadist group based in Burkina Faso had been moving in and out of Ghana through the border over the past four months. On Sunday, May 12, 2019, some gunmen attacked a Catholic church in Burkina Faso, killing six, and there have also been attacks on mosques and some other churches the world over.
It is on the back of these developments that the ACSIS issued the warning and tasked security agencies to be on high alert, and also charged churches to put measures in place to ensure their premises are secured.
Speaking to this security issue on ‘The Key Points’ on TV3, Mr. Bonah said there is the need for churches and other religious facilities to be properly regulated by government like is done in other sectors, to ensure every facility has the necessary security system for safety.
“I have advocated that let us have the state regulating religious facilities,” he stressed.
“When you take the Bank of Ghana, if you want to establish a bank, you go for a form, apply for a license. You may have to check certain things; cash vault, CCTV, man guards; you should have this, you should have that and so that forms part of security for banks.
“So usually, areas that are regulated come with some types of requirement for you to do. But today, we have too many smaller churches, it is not just the churches that are getting bombed, so let us have some sort of regime where places where people are going to gather. Before you set up such a place you must conform to a certain regulation and requirement,” Mr. Bonah explained.
As an immediate term effort to keep churches safe, Mr. Bonah also tasked leadership of the churches to get basic items such as detectors, 24-hour monitored CCTV cameras, as well as some security personnel at their premises.
The security analyst also charged government to come up with a response unit where people can lodge complaints if they sense any anything suspicious.