GHANA: Religious Leaders Call for Tightened Security Amid Terror Threat

By Arnold Neliba

ACCRA, MAY 17, 2022 (CISA)– In response to a statement by Ghana’s Ministry of National Security on imminent threats of terrorist acts in West Africa dated May 13, religious leaders in the country have called for beefing up security in places of worship.

Led by the National Chief Imam, Chairman of the Christian Council and the President of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference. The religious leaders called for heightened security through the installation of Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) cameras and the engagement of services of approved private security guards in places of worship.

“In view of growing threats of terrorism from the sub-region, and the expansionist drive of terrorist groups towards the coastal West-African States, with a renewed modus operandi of targeting public gatherings, including places of worship, it is imperative that perceptional measures are taken by all stakeholders,” they said in a joint statement.

While the Ministry was collaborating with relevant State Security and Intelligence Agencies to institute measures to avert terrorist attacks in the country, the clerics stressed that there was a need to enhance security, particularly in areas where there are regularly mass gatherings.

“Although the above directive has become necessary, the Ministry of National Security assures you of our continuous resolve to institute measures aimed at safeguarding the peace and security of the country. Treat as urgent,” read the statement by the ministry and signed by the National Security Coordinator, Major-General Francis Adu-Amanfoh (Rtd).

The religious leaders referenced the 2013 Westgate attack in Nairobi, Kenya, that led to the death of about 60 people including the late Prof. Kofi Awoonor, a revered Ghanaian poet and author,  as they highlighted how terrorists attack places of worship.

Last week, a new report released by the West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) warned of a possible terrorist attack in the country, saying although Ghana has managed terrorist threats over the years, “Ghana has been so close to terrorism.”