Mr. Daniel Agbesi-Latsu, the Kadjebi District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has appealed to Ghanaians to be security conscious to reduce their vulnerability to terrorist attacks.
He said Ghana was not immune to terrorist attacks since they could strike anytime and anywhere.
Speaking at a programme at Butabe in the Kadjebi District of the Oti Region, organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from the Ministry of National Security, Mr Agbesi-Latsu said the NCCE had embarked on a nationwide community engagement on violent extremism.
He said although Ghana had enjoyed sustainable peace and stability for several decades, the growing insecurity in the West African sub-region and the emerging trends of security threats from terrorism and extremist’s activities have diverse implications for the country’s stability.
Mr. Agbesi-Latsu explained that the deteriorating situation in the Sahel Region and the threat on Ghana’s border with Burkina Faso affirmed the issue.
He asked the participants not to touch suspicious items at lorry parks, markets, places of worship, schools and even on streets as explosive materials could be planted in them.
On signs of radicalisation; he said the suspects may become increasingly argumentative, refuse to listen to divergent views, being overly secretive about online viewing, becoming abusive to children, converting to a new religion, distancing from old friends, among others as guides of identifying possible radicalisation.
He advised the participants to run away if there was a safe route and not hide. They should call service hotline numbers 191 and 18555 for help whenever they were attacked.
Mr Agbesi-Latsu said it was often impossible to identify a terrorist by appearance, nationality and language, adding that, they could only identify a terrorist threat by observing or hearing about suspicious activity that might lead to a criminal act.
The NCCE District Director asked the participants to check the background of visitors they received thoroughly as most terrorists camouflage themselves as visitors and carry out their activities unaware.
Mr. Agbesi-Latsu also advised them to form community watchdog committees in consultation with the Police as measures in curbing crimes in their communities.
Togbe Amewu, Chief of Butabe, thanked the NCCE team for enlightening them on security issues and promised to convey the message to the rest of his subjects.
Similar programmes were held at Tsikata Kofe, Obuasi, Dzindziso, Menuso, Mempeasem, Poase-Cement, among others.