As part of efforts to avert any acts of terrorism in the country, personnel of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) stationed at Magnori have intensified patrols on the stretch of the Ghana-Burkina Faso border under their jurisdiction, while those in Bawku in the Upper East Region are patrolling Ghana-Togo border portion under their control.
The patrols have been occasioned by a suspected terrorist attack that claimed two lives, including an Imam based at a village called Benyayile in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
In the Monday attack, the assailants were said to have targeted influential people such as Imams and other leaders of the various religious denominations.
As a result of the attack near Bawku, hundreds of Burkinabes tried to cross over to Mognori, but they were restrained by both the personnel of the GIS detailed there and the overflow of a river which had cut off the foreign nationals from crossing over to Ghana.
Even though no militant group has claimed responsibility of the killings and sporadic gunshots in Burkina Faso, judging from recent happenings, security sources suspect the attack might have been carried out by the al-Qaeda and Boko Haram, Islamist groups who have in recent years wreaked havoc on lives and property in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
It is good security personnel can conjecture about who might have carried out the attack.
However, there is the need to find out all the terrorist groups likely to infiltrate the West African sub-region, their motive or motivation, how they can come into the various countries, their targets, their modus operandi, and how the public can identify them and what the public must do, particularly to prevent attacks and what have you.
As things stand now, Ghana has to prepare and do so well towards checking terrorism.
It is no longer speculation; the terrorist can enter Ghana if they find what motivates them here.
The Ghanaian Times thinks there is the need now for the government to educate the whole country, not only those living in the border towns, about terrorism.
For instance, the public must be taught how to identify suspicious characters and report their movements to the police and other security agencies.
The government should provide the GIS with the necessary logistics to patrol all the country’s borders, whilst having a task force of marine police and GIS personnel to patrol its territorial waters.
This is important because patrols in Bawku and Mognori alone, however intensified they are, cannot prevent terrorists from entering the country.
Therefore, while the necessary logistics are yet to be provided, GIS personnel at the country’s borders and even those stationed somewhere else should have it as their priority to prevent terrorists from entering the country.
The Ghanaian Times wishes to remind the GIS personnel that they owe Ghana that precious duty and so they should apply all their professional knowledge and skills to do their best to protect the country in that regard.
In that case they should avoid inducements and be extra-vigilant so that they can fish out terrorist elements who want to outwit the country’s security personnel to enter the country, even if individually rather than in groups, to carry out their heinous activities.
The country cannot wish away terrorist attack(s) and avoid doing the needful.
In fact, any inaction in this matter can be costly to the country.
While the government and the security apparatus are doing their bits, members of the public must also assist but they can do this effectively if they know what to look for and what to question about suspicious characters.
Terrorist attacks are devastating and can be so beyond any imaginable proportions; therefore, there is the need for the whole country to collectively work to prevent them.