Don’t panic over security – Chief of Defence Staff

Lieutenant General Obed Boamah Akwa

The Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant-General Obed Boamah Akwa, has visited some borders and assured the public of maxim security protection following reports of growing terrorist threats from neighbouring West African countries, particularly Burkina Faso.

The Military Chief visited Tumu, Hamile, Wa, Bole among other parts of Northern Ghana to assess the security situation, barely two weeks a Burkinabe gunman was arrested over suspected terrorist act in Hamile in the Upper West Region.

He told residents in Tumu where Ghana border post was located that the security agencies were prepared towards improved public safety.

This is because the personnel are strong-minded to provide the best of security protection for citizens amidst terrorist threats from Ghana’s neighbours.

“On behalf of the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces and the Minister of Defence, I assure you of maximum security and that is why there is reinforcement of more personnel to add to the police and Immigration to patrol the area,” he said.

“You may have heard about terrorist activities in the West African sub-region and that of Burkina Faso, but there is no need for panic,” he stressed. “We are doing all we can to make sure you are safe in this part of the country”.

Ghana police personnel arrested Bilgo Tibila Desire, a Burkinabe, with a loaded handgun in Hamile Roman Catholic Church early this month during mass service and a search conducted on him revealed the gun was loaded with nine bullets.

“It brought to the President [Akufo-Addo] and all citizens of Ghana credit when some citizens in a worship centre gave the security information about an armed man who had since been arrested and investigated,” Lieutenant-General Akwa said.

There were reports of increased threat of terror attacks around churches in the West African sub-region, particularly Burkina Faso.

While,in May, several persons were reported killed in multiple attacks in Christian places of worship in northern Burkina Faso, the situation has forced nearly 2000 Burkinabes to flee and settle along the Sissala enclave in the Upper West region, raising security concerns and worries over additional pressure exerted on limited social amenities.

Tumu Township to Leo in Burkina Faso, the edge of the border, which border security said made it difficult for effective patrol.

Lieutenant-General Akwa noted, “The porousness of the border has made it key for strengthening the security with personnel presence in the Sissala East”.

After engaging traditional and religious leaders and the Sissala East Municipal Security Committee, he said, government’s approach to security was inclusive as security agencies and citizens were together involved in information sharing.

He also advised the public to be security conscious, stay vigilant and share information with the police and immigration officials about unfamiliar activities of people in their communities.

“We also need citizens’ collaboration to help us work,” he said.

Hotel managers and operators were told to collect detailed information about suspicious clients and monitor their activities closely.

The Sissala East Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Karim Nanyua, appealed for the setting up of a military barracks in Tumu for easy access and patrol of Ghana border and to swiftly tackle eruption of any threat.

Top military commanders including; the Northern Sector Commander Brigadier, Francis Ofori, who earlier visited the area two weeks ago accompanied the Chief of Defence Staff.

Source: GNA

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