Despite All The Public Education And Sensitization On Impending Terror Attacks On Ghana – This Year’s VGMA Exposed Our Vulnerability As A Country.
For a long time since I started educating people on terrorism and how they can stay safe, I have amongs others proffered the following especially in the last few weeks since the terror topic surfaced again. They include but certainly not limited to;
1. Ghanaians should try as much as possible to take care of their personal security seriously.
2. They should be conscious of and or, be very cautious of their immediate environment – homes, office and public spaces.
3. They should report suspicious characters in their mists immediately to law enforcement for prompt action.
4. They should report suspicious items such as backpacks, electrical gadgets, containers, abandoned cars etcetera to law enforcement for prompt action.
5. They should avoid picking and touch idle objects left at public places.
6. They should be critical, and try as much as possible to question every and anything they see around i.e. why is this object here, was it here yesterday or moments ago, and who could have possibly left it there and for what purpose.
7. They should be careful not to transfer dangerous items left in or under their cars to and from their homes or offices.
These and many more are have so eloquently advanced by me over the years in many of my writings.
But frankly speaking, yesterday at the VGMA awards at the Accra International Conference Centre; our vulnerability, ignorance, none preparedness and alertness as a people -security forces – alike, and a republic was so glaringly worrying and heartwrenching.
We were so exposed to the extent that individuals carried sidearms into a program that had as many as four thousand Ghanaians and none Ghanaians unnoticed, undetected, unchecked and unhindered and only God knows how many people had weapons there yesterday. Imagine if a terrorist had such chaep access to the venue yesterday.
Your guess would have been as good as mine – touch woood.
Let’s face it. This was one of the lowest point of preparedness of a nation that almost all intelligence reports have suggested that it is on the radar and that it may be attacked by jihadist and terror groups operating in the West African Subregion sooner or later.
I think that both the organisers of the VGMA awards and all the major actors in the security circles of this country from the national security to the police to everybody including the patrons of the event let this country down.
We know lucky that no terrorist groups foresaw that the venue of this year’s VGMA could have been so exposed, fragile and porous to take advantage of to strike this country to make a statement.
Going forward, we should make sure that we never go to sleep in this manner so callously and leave our legs outside.
Mohammed Abdul Hanan El Saeed