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Ghana tightens borders in wake of terrorist threats

BY: Kwame Asare-Boadu & Doreen Andoh
Head of Public Affairs at the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mr Francis Palmdeti

Security has been beefed up at Ghana’s border crossings as the threat of terrorists attack heightens in the country.

The Head of Public Affairs at the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS), Mr Francis Palmdeti, told the Daily Graphic last Thursday that the entire security system had been put on high alert.

The precautionary measures come in the wake of a security alert issued by the National Security Council over a possible terror attack on Ghana.

Patrols

Mr Palmdeti said the patrol activities at the entry routes had been increased to ensure that people seeking to enter Ghana did not take advantage of unapproved routes.

“The service has also stepped up  profiling and screening at all entry points – approved, unapproved and suspected entry points – to ensure that security is not in any way compromised,” he said.

Mr Palmdeti said the water-tight security at the  various border posts could withstand any form of attack.

“We are in a state of perpetual alertness,” he said.

He said the GIS would  continue to up its activities and would restrict the entry and exit of persons with questionable credentials.

 He also said although the influx of foreigners with honest and sincere motives into the country was healthy to boost the country’s economy, the service would not relent in screening the migrants  to weed out those whose missions were suspicious. 

Mr Palmdeti reiterated the call on residents, both Ghanaians and non-Ghanaians, to remain calm in the wake of the terrorist threats and alerts.

He said the security services had a mandate to protect members of the public in particular, and the nation as a whole. 

Thorough profiling

The National Security alert document described persons to Ghana from Libya, Mali and Niger as high-risk persons and, therefore, asked the security agencies to be meticulous with profile checks.

Dated April 9, 2016, the security alert  came at the back of a prophecy by the founder of the Synagogue Church Of All Nations ( SCOAN), Prophet T.B Joshua, predicting a possible terrorist attack on Ghana and Nigeria. 

He gave the prophecy during a church service on April 10, 2016 and asked his congregation to pray for the two nations to forestall such plans by the enemy.

Similar attacks

In March this year, the National Security Council issued a similar terror alert,  which said countries within the West African sub-region were at risk.

The council said based on intelligence from other agencies, it had every reason to believe that countries including Ghana were at risk.

“The National Security Council on the basis of briefings by the intelligence agencies and partners, has determined that there is a credible terrorist threat to all countries in the sub-region. Already there have been attacks in Mali, Cote d’Ivoire and Burkina Faso.

“You are to conduct thorough vehicle search when possible to prevent the smuggling of weapons and other explosive materials into the country. You are to collaborate with other security agencies at your controls and sensitise all officers to the Security Alert to ensure that terrorists do not enter the country,” the statement said.