Terrorism, piracy activities in West Africa: Ghana faces threat from sub-region …attacks increase in Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire

The government will do everything possible to protect Ghana and its citizens from the terrorists whose activities are creating serious threats for neighbouring countries. 

“The government would wish to assure citizens that it would continue to take all appropriate measures to ensure that Ghana is protected from the increasing risks of terrorist activities and piracy.”

This was the assurance given by Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, the Minister of Information, on Sunday at the weekly press briefing organised by the ministry in Accra.

The meeting was to brief Ghanaians on the recent cabinet review on national development planning and security. 

Mr Nkrumah said the activities of terrorists pose serious threat to Ghana’s borders with Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

He said there was evidence of a Ghanaian being recruited into the fold of the terrorist group.

The Minister of Information who is the Member of Parliament for Ofoase Ayirebi Constituency in the Eastern Region urged members of the public to volunteer information to make the work of intelligence and security agencies easier.

While admitting that government had made a lot of investment in retooling of the military in addition to provision of logistics, the minister said more needed to be done.

Mr Nkrumah stated that government had beefed up security in the north to strengthen Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso.

He said he was concerned that in the last few months, Burkina Faso and Cote d’Ivoire had experienced a number of terrorist attacks including the killing of 160 people at a village called Soleim in the Yagaba Province, Burkina Faso on June 5, the killing of two Spanish journalists and an Irish national near a reserve in eastern Burkina Faso on April 26, among others.

The legislator told journalists that the Gulf of Guinea was not spared either as pirates continue to kidnap people at sea and in some cases demand ransoms before letting go their captives.

For his part, Dr Kodjo Esseim Mensah-Abrampah, the Director General for National Development Planning Commission (NDPC), said government was working to create more jobs to spur economic growth.

He said a lot has been done so far to leverage Ghana’s economy post the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

Dr Mensah-Abrampah dispelled the widely held view that Ghana had no national development plan, noting that although Ghana had a plan, implementation remains a major setback.

He said the ongoing nationwide consultation on the 2022-2025 Medium Term National Development Planning Policy Framework would go a long way to inform the country’s policy decision.

Until quite recently, the activities of terrorists were more pronounced in Northern Africa and the Maghreb region.

But they are gradually establishing a strong foothold in some countries in West Africa.

The activities of these terrorists whose motivation, is often based on misplaced religious beliefs is a cause for concern, calling for urgent action to beef up security at the borders as terrorists and pirates had the potential to destabilise even the most peaceful and stable economies.

BY MALIK SULLEMANA 

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