Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called for collaborative efforts to avert the threat posed by terrorism on the continent.
He cited the killing of several soldiers and gendarmes in multi-terrorist attacks in Cote d’Ivoire early last month, saying, “Burkina Faso has become a hub of terrorist activity over the past few years with hundreds killed in recurring attacks across the country.
“Travel advices and credible intelligence reports from several sources warn of potential terrorist attacks in countries like Ghana and Togo. Our country faces a real threat of terrorism with the heightened attacks in neighbouring countries.”
A statement issued from the Office of the former President and signed by Mr Kobina Andoh Amoakwa, Head of the Communications Directorate and copied the Ghana News Agency in Accra, said “threat of terrorism is real” and urged stakeholders to collaborate to avert it.
Former president Rawlings said: “As Ghanaians we can no longer procrastinate on the matter of terrorism and assume we are insulated from the reality. The time has come for heightened vigilance by every Ghanaian as we enter a vulnerable period leading up to the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections”.
“Inhabitants, especially the border communities need to remain extra vigilant and observant if we are to avoid any such terrorist attacks on our territory.”
“While we undoubtedly are nervous about the deployment of the military and other security agencies across our border areas, ordinary civilians can better guarantee their safety when we keep our ears and eyes open for suspicious movement and activities across our vast borders.” It added.
“In the same vein, I once again urge the military and other agencies deployed in the border regions to perform their roles above reproach and be sensitive to the mood of the people of the border areas who are already reeling under the pressures of Covid-19.
“Any unease and mistrust between the military and communities along the border areas will only create an opening for those engaging in terrorist activity to slip through, increasing the threats to our country. Cooperation and sharing of intelligence is key to confronting the challenge.”
The statement said the military’s role is to defend the territorial integrity of the country and protect the people of Ghana.