Police caution against politicizing extremist campaigns

Cape Coast, May 26, GNA - The Central Regional Police Commander, Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Alexander Amenyoh, has advised against politicizing the national citizenship education campaign against extremists.

He said it would be unpatriotic for any politician to politically spin the campaign for political mischief thereby, thwarting public support and exposing lives and property to danger.

Instead, he encouraged the citizenry to disregard such frivolous forms of ethnic, gender and political machinations to derail the campaigns, but religiously provide the needed support and information to drive the initiative.

The campaign dubbed "See something, say something", seeks to educate the citizenry to report any suspicious activities related to terrorism to the security agencies.

DCOP Amenyoh gave the advice in response to some questions raised at a public sensitization workshop on preventing extremist threats in the country on Wednesday, in Cape Coast.

The engagement put together by the Ghana Police Service brought together representatives of faith-based organizations, Assembly members, security agencies and the media.

The Central Regional Commander pointed out that the country could not move forward when the people were divided and harboured so much pain, anger, and hatred for one another.

It was time the citizen stood united against terrorists who were determined to inflict perpetual pain on innocent souls, he said.

"The extremists, care less about someone's political persuasion or ideology, but have resolved to cause mayhem in the hearts and minds of nations to gain the necessary recognition they seek.

"Fighting extremists' insurgency is not for any political party to take undue advantage of, but a concerted national resolve to educate citizens to help maintain national security. We must stand united to fight these international miscreants as a sovereign nation for the common good of society", the Central Regional Police Commander advised.

The security agencies, according to him, were not oblivious of the recent wave of terrorist attacks across the West Africa sub-region with its attendant spillover from the Sahelian regions.

That has been heightened by the recent attacks on its immediate neighbours; Burkina Faso, Cote d'Ivoire and Togo with security experts warning that the trend made Ghana highly susceptible to an attack.

In Togo, DCOP Amenyoh said, about 15 assailants were killed during the “terrorists” attack in the northern part of the country which also killed about 10 soldiers.

Togo’s troops have been deployed in the north of the country to contain any security threat, pushing south from Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger where groups linked to al-Qaeda and ISIL (ISIS) operate.

Within the first quarter of 2022, he said, the African continent experienced about 346 attacks in various countries.

Of the figure, 49 percent occurred in the West African sub-region, therefore, making the sub-region become a hotbed for terrorism.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Irene Serwaah Oppong, Regional Public Relations Officer (PRO), reiterated the essence of citizenship Education Campaign to keep the public alert.

She expressed their commitment to extend the public education to markets, lorry stations, schools, public places and partner the media to help raise awareness and alertness on a terrorist attack in Ghana.

She encouraged people who may notice anything unusual about the security situation to quickly inform the various agencies by dialling 999 (toll free) or use any of the security agencies’ phone numbers or social media handles.