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Our mineral resources are attracting terrorists – Osafo-Maafo

Source The Ghana Report

The Senior Presidential Adviser, Yaw Osafo-Maafo has waded into conversations surrounding Ghana being a target for terrorists in the African sub-region.

He believes the country is a target because of the abundant resources, including gold and crude oil.

“Concerning Ghana’s abundance of gold resources and the access it has to the Gulf of Guinea, clearly it indicates that our country remains a prime target for the terrorist groups. The fact that we have not been attacked yet does not simply mean that we are eternally immune from a terrorist attack,” he noted.

The Ministry of National Security had cautioned the public and advised worship centres to beef up security over threats of terrorist attacks.

The caution came barely 72-hours after terrorists attacked neighboring Togo.

Subsequently, the ministry launched a ‘See Something, Say Something’ campaign to encourage citizens to report suspicious characters in the community.

Speaking at the campaign launch in Accra, the Senior Presidential adviser called for active citizen participation in volunteering information to the security.

“Deliberate actions and conscious efforts not only by our state security and intelligence agencies but also all Ghanaians and persons within the country’s jurisdiction are required to keep the terrorist away,” he stressed.

He said the government would continue to retool the security services to make them proactive.

“Government continues to support the ministries of national security, defence, interior and other relevant state authorities in myriad ways to implement measures towards safeguarding the state against terrorism and violent extremism,” he added.

Measures

Mr. Kan-Dapaah, Minister for National Security, in his response said the state security and intelligence agencies remained on high alert to contain any eventuality.

He emphasized that safeguarding the country’s security and stability remained a key priority for all state security and intelligence agencies.

“To that end, we will remain vigilant and will continue to work in strengthening our capacity to effectively mitigate all forms of these attacks,” he assured.

Recent attacks

The national security minister said in recent times apart from Burkina Faso, there had been attacks in Cote d’Ivoire, about seven attacks in Benin, and recently, one terrorist attack in Togo.

“So far there has not been any attack in Ghana. It does not mean that the terrorists are not planning to attack. We believe they may be planning and the best way to handle it is to ensure that we also do all that is necessary to contain the situation.

“But so far there has not been any attack in our country,” he said.

Retooling

The national security minister indicated that the support the government had from the Interior and Defence Committee of Parliament paved the way for the retooling of the security and intelligence agencies.

That, he said, was not to suggest that the security and intelligence agencies did not have sufficient equipment and tools at the time.

He added that there had been a deliberate effort to retool and add to the equipment that the country needed to ward off any security threat in recent times.

 

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