“See Something, Say Something”: Sustainability, key to reaping desired results

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terrorism

Mr Adib Saani, Security Analyst and Executive Director, Centre for Human Security and Peace Building, has urged the Government to put systems in place to sustain the “See Something, Say Something” campaign.

He said by sustaining the campaign, the Government could be sure that the initiative would yield the desired results.
Mr Saani, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency said the campaign could be sustained if awareness creation was done through all the major Ghanaian languages.

He said the dissemination of information should not be constricted to media airplay, but instead, it should be carried down to the grassroots.

The Ministry of National Security on Tuesday launched its flagship programme dubbed, “See Something, Say Something” campaign, to encourage the citizenry to play an active role in the protection of the peace and stability of the State.

It would also empower Ghanaians to be more conscious about their own security and enhance their relationship with State Security Authorities.

Citizens are to dial “999” to report any suspicious or unusual activity happening within their communities. Callers are not obliged to disclose their identity.

Mr Saani said there was the need for deeper collaboration between the Government and Civil Society Organisations widely propagate the message.

“These NGOs are well grounded in the communities. They know what is going on. They’ve been engaging the communities already so the Government would have to rely on them to a very large extent to get the information across widely,” he said.

Mr Saani said the campaign was a step in the right direction because the Government alone cannot fight terrorism, but needed the Ghanaian populace to support it, to be alert and cooperate.

The Security Analyst however observed that the campaign was long overdue and should have even been initiated two years ago when threats were looming.

“Even earlier this year, a UN Security Council report stated that there is a terrorist warehouse, specifically owned by the ISIS in the greater Sahara in Ghana, Togo, and Benin. Almost everyone around Ghana has been attacked and so we need to be very conscious that is why citizen participation is very crucial in the scheme of things,” he added.

He urged the Ministry of National Security to be responsive to calls that came in from citizens, adding that this would encourage them to have confidence in the security agencies and be ready to share information.
“If you tell citizens to call with the assurance that a response would be gotten, but they call, and no one responds, then it doesn’t show seriousness and that could defeat the purpose for which it was put together in the first place.”

Mr Saani said it was highly possible that a terrorist might be in the country by now, with sleeper cells already established, as such, security agencies needed to move beyond border security operations to homeland security through improved intelligence gathering mechanisms.

He said shopping malls, just like Churches and Mosques, were soft targets for terrorists because such venues attracted mass gathering of people.

The Security Analyst said the Government must address the human insecurities, especially youth unemployment which posed the biggest single existential threat to the security of the state.

He said unemployment amongst young people pushed them into uncertainty and desperation, and terrorists could take advantage of these local grievances to recruit people.

“We also need to deal with the proliferation of small arms. The arms regime in Ghana isn’t very well regulated. We need to move the Small Arms Commission from an Advisory Body to an Authority so that they can effectively be able to regulate the ownership, use and transfer and sale of weapons in Ghana,” he added.

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