Security experts and their stakeholders have ended a two-day national security stakeholders’ dialogue at Peduase, near Accra, to, among others, deliberate on political vigilantism, armed robbery, kidnapping and terrorism.
The meeting discussed how to develop a road map to combat emerging security threats in the country.
Heads of the various security agencies updated the participants on measures being implemented to confront the security threats.
The participants also considered ways in which the security agencies could collaborate with their international counterparts by sharing intelligence and adopting proactive measures to ward off internal security threats.
The experts included the heads of the various security agencies, officials of the ministries of National Security, Defence, the Interior, the Attorney-General’s Department, representatives of civil society organisations and academia.
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Briefing the media on the meeting, the Minister of Information, Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, said the dialogue, held under the auspices of the Ministry of National Security, formed part of a series of national security dialogues facilitated by the government to deal with emerging security threats.
“Political vigilantism, terrorism and associated threats all formed part of the major discussion on the table.
If we watch what is happening in Burkina Faso and our neighbouring countries, we cannot be resting on our laurels.
“What the security chiefs and the political brass have been doing is update the stakeholders on the kind of work that is going on and also take feedback, ideas and some guidance to develop a road map to try and put an end to political vigilantism in the country,” he said.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah disclosed that due to the porous nature of the country’s borders, criminals had been slipping in and out to collaborate with their Ghanaian actors to commit various crimes and said that was an issue that needed to be dealt with.
He said the dialogue also provided a platform for the experts to focus attention on finding solutions to the misconduct of some security officials and interferences in security matters by the political class.
“It is around a table like this that you can get the various stakeholders to be honest and upfront without any victimisation and for some professional work to be done,” he stated.
He said President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was very committed to finding lasting solutions to “some of these ills” that had plagued the country for decades.
He said the engagement formed part of finding lasting solutions to the security challenges.
Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election
The minister, in an answer to a question on why the government chose to set up a commission of enquiry into the violent attack that took place during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, instead of using the normal investigative process to bring to book the perpetrators, said the “first potential criminal investigation is not lost because of the Presidential Commission of Enquiry”.
“Indeed, if you look at the terms of reference of the commission, they include getting the facts and a body of evidence and identifying persons responsible for the violence and proffering sanctions.
“There is also room made to deal with matters that are associated with the specific matter and the bigger subject of electoral violence during by-elections,” he explained.
Mr Oppong Nkrumah said it was not the first time that a commission of that nature had been set up.
“It has happened and we need to confront this violence as a country,” he stressed, and gave an assurance that the President was committed to tackling such violence if it happened.