National Security warns religious groups over possible terrorist attacks

The Ministry of National Security has warned religious groups in the country against a possible terrorist attack, an official statement has said.

The West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) had already warned of of a possible terrorist attacks in Ghana.

A statement issued by the ministry on Friday(13 May) however assured the public measures are being rolled out to safeguard the peace and security of the country.

“In view of the growing threats of terrorism from the subregion and the expansionist drive of terrorist groups towards Coastal West African states, with a renewed modus operandi of targeting public gatherings including places of worship, it is imperative that precautional measures are taken by all stakeholders.” the statement said.

“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.” it added

Earlier warning

A new report released by the West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) is warning of a possible terrorist attacks in Ghana.

The report said although the West African country has managed terrorist threats over the years, “yet Ghana has been so close to terrorism.”The warning comes barely a week after Ministry of Defence records show there were about 840 terrorist attacks within the West African sub region resulting in over 2000 casualties in the first quarter of 2022.

Time to act

Talking to Asaase News on Monday (9 May), the executive director of WACCE, Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar said officials must act swiftly to avert a possible attack in Ghana.

“We have seen the northern borders of Togo and Benin, we have seen in Côte d’Ivoire and also the north and eastern parts that borders to Burkina Faso fall into extremist attacks.

“We are the only country that is yet to experience attacks and we have no reason to believe that we will continue to be immune to that if we don’t take adequate measures to prevent that from happening here if you look at the local vulnerabilities,” Muqthar said.

“We are looking at presently a widespread incidences of unresolved chieftaincy conflicts, ethnic conflicts and more dangerously the situation like Bawku has been left unresolved for a long time and we consider the exploitative nature of extremist to take advantage of such vulnerabilities to either recruit or launch attack,” he said on Asaase Radio’s The 12 O’Clock Report.

The report said more than 13 Ghanaians are believed to have travelled to fight with terrorist groups since 2015.

“Up to twenty-three (23), others have been dissuaded from leaving to join extremist groups. Ghana’s first recorded case was Nazir Alema Nortey, a young university graduate, who shockingly left the country in August 2015 to join ISIS before sending a message back to his parents to announce his newfound cause. He was killed in Syria in April 2016.

“Professor Kofi Awoonor, a renowned Ghanaian poet and academic, was killed in the West Gate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya when Al Shabab fighters besieged the mall in 2013.

“Even though the fatality numbers are presently down from the peak of over 7,200 in the region in 2014, the threat has increased in complexity and geographical spread. Today 53% of all ECOWAS have now been encircled by the threat. These developments are dangerous for Ghana.”

Asaase Radio