‘Exercise restraint for peaceful coexistence’

BY: Yakubu Abdul-Jalil
Mr Mark Owen Woyongo, the Minister of Interior, addressing the journalists at the Ghana prisons service press soiree at the Prisons Headquarters.

The Deputy Minister of the Interior, Mr James Agalga, has appealed to Ghanaians to be circumspect in their comments on the presence of the ex-Guantanamo Bay detainees in the country, to prevent possible rift between Christians and Muslims.

“My appeal to the various religious groups in this country, particularly the Christian Council (CC), the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference and, of course, the Chief Imam’s outfit, is that they should not allow the government’s decision to admit those ex-Guantanamo detainees to take a religious dimension.”

“In this country, the various religious groups have coexisted very peacefully, from time in memorial, right from the time of our statehood, till now,” he stated.

Mr Agalga made the appeal at a press soiree organised by the Ministry of the Interior in Accra last Friday.

The soiree created the platform for the media to interact with officials from the Ministry of the Interior, for firsthand and accurate information about issues.

Exercise restraint
Mr Agalga advised social commentators commenting on the ex-detainees nationwide to exercise some restraint in their comments for the sake of peaceful coexistence.

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Ghana, the Deputy Minister said, had not admitted terrorists to the country, and stressed, “that distinction ought to be made very clear. The two gentlemen in question are not terrorists, and that is why I described them as ex-detainees.”

Disband para-military groups
Touching on security for the November 7 general election, the acting Inspector General of Police, Mr John Kudalor, said the police would be meeting with the leadership of political parties to discuss how to disband para-military groups aligned to political parties in order to promote national security.

“The para-military groups pose a threat to national security; as such we are going to meet with their leaders in the political parties to discuss and give them deadline, so they can disband these groups,” he stated.

The groups, Mr Kudalor said, were illegally engaged in policing activities, especially during elections, and explained that the police had that mandate, hence the need to do away with such groups.

The Minister of the Interior, Mr Mark Woyongo, cautioned the media to be wary of their contents so they would not fall prey to libel.

“The ministry would soon be rolling out a workshop to train the media on security reporting in order not to compromise our national security,” he said.