The Ghana Catholic Bishop Conference (GCBC) on Wednesday called for collective and concerted approach to tackling threats on national security.
According to the Most Reverend Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, the President of the GCBC, the nation’s porous borders with neighbouring Burkina Faso, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire exposed the nation to threats of terrorist attacks, hence the need for everybody to remain watchful.
Most Rev. Gyamfi made the call at a regional dialogue session on trending conflicts in the Bono Region in Sunyani.
The National Catholic Secretariat organised the day’s session, attended by traditional leaders, representatives of religious bodies, security services, youth groups, policy implementers, trade associations and Senior High School students.
It was on the theme “Trending Conflicts in Ghana, Fertile Grounds for Violent Extremism: A Call for Action” and was in line with the Sahel Peace Initiative project being implemented by the Secretariat with funding from the Catholic Relief Services, a non-governmental organisation.
Most Rev. Gyamfi, also the Catholic Bishop of the Sunyani Diocese, said the safety and security of the nation must be the concern of all people, and called for a shared commitment towards a safer and a more harmonious country.
Everybody must play his or her part to help foster peace, stability and social cohesion, he advised, saying “Ghana is a small country and anything that happened anywhere affects all of us.”
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene, the Bono Regional Minister said the region remained calm as it was one of the three most peaceful regions in the country and commended the security services for helping to maintain the prevailing peace and stability of the area.
That notwithstanding, the Regional Minister said security challenges such as perennial chieftaincy conflicts, land disputes and litigations, illegal mining, high unemployment rate and activities of nomadic Fulani herdsmen threatened the peace and stability of the region.
Madam Owusu-Banahene said the region’s proximity to Cote d’Ivoire was also another threat, saying though official borders were located at Dormaa-Ahenkro and Sampa, unapproved ones were spread in parts of Dormaa Municipality and Jaman North District respectively.
She therefore called on everybody to join the “See Something, Say Something” campaign and provide the security agencies with information about people with questionable characters and strange movements to help avert any possible violent or terrorist attack in the region.
Madam Owusu-Banahene said though no incident of terrorist attack had been reported in the region, there was the need for everybody to help identify and find lasting solutions to issues that undermine the peace and stability of the nation.