A two-day national security stakeholders dialogue aimed at bringing together security experts and analysts to deliberate on some emerging security challenges facing the country has opened at Peduase near Accra.
The event will allow the heads of the various security agencies to update the stakeholders on the measures being implemented to confront the security threats and discuss ways they can come up with a roadmap to tackle head-on security concerns.
The participants will also consider ways by which the security agencies can collaborate with international security agencies to gather and share intelligence and adopt proactive measures to internal security threats.
Some of the issues they deliberated on include political vigilantism, armed robberies, kidnapping and terrorism.
The experts included the heads of the various security agencies, the Ministry of National Security, the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Interior as well as representatives of civil society organisations and academia.
Ending political vigilantism
Briefing the press 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 current government to deal with emerging security threats.
“Political vigilantism, terrorism and associated threats all form 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 oars.
“What the security chiefs and the political brass have been doing is updating the stakeholders on the kind of work that is going on and also taking feedback, ideas and some guidance to develop a roadmap to try and put a final end to political vigilantism in the country,” he said.
The minister noted 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, a domestic issue that needed to be dealt with.
He said the dialogue would also allow the security 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 stated that President Akufo-Addo was very committed to finding lasting solutions to “some of these ills” that have plagued the country for decades.
“Today’s engagement forms part of finding lasting solutions to the security challenges,” he stated.
Criminal investigation not lost
The minister, in an answer to the question of why the government chose to set up a Commission of Inquiry rather than allowing normal investigation processes to go on to bring to book the perpetrators of violent attacks during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, 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, it also includes getting the facts and a body of evidence and identifying persons responsible for the violence and proffering sanctions.
“In Section 3 (c) of the Constitutional Instrument that promulgated for the commission, there is also room made to deal with matters that are associated specific matter and the bigger subject of electoral violence during by-elections.
“This is not the first time it has happened and we need to confront these violence as a country,” he said, assuring that the President was committed to tackling such electoral violence in the country outrightly.