Senior United Nations (UN) Mediation Advisor, Emmanuel Bombande is worried about Ghana’s susceptibility to threats of terrorism.
The West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism in its latest report warned that Ghana is at high risk of terrorism following pockets of civil, political, and social unrest in parts of the West African sub-region.
It said threats of violent extremism are heavily descending towards coastal states from the Sahel regions and that Ghana could not be spared, for that matter, given happenings in its neighbouring countries.
Factors such as chieftaincy and ethnic disputes, land conflicts, marginalization of vulnerable groups, and high youth unemployment make Ghana very susceptible to threats of terrorism.
Speaking on Eyewitness News, Mr. Bombande said the issue should be taken seriously as Ghana is fast becoming a “fertile ground” for these terrorists.
“I think we should be worried, we should, in the sense that the strategy of extremists and terrorist groups is to insert themselves in your vulnerability.”
“They strike based on perceived marginalization or perceived injustice of one party to the other. The vulnerabilities cited in the report are clear examples of how such groups usurp themselves.”
“If we are to look at it in terms of the recruiting grounds for people who engage in terrorism, we will see how this is spreading more widely than 5 years ago. Part of that reason is the growing impoverishment of countries. Young people are getting tired of voting for leaders who are unable to create jobs for them and make a meaningful impact. All these are contributing to the environment of extremists.”
He wants government to quickly take action against rising acts of insurgency that could derail peace, stability, and economic development in the sub-region.
“We want decentralisation to be strengthened so that people get to choose their leaders in local communities. The moment they do this, their interest in local governance is heightened, ultimately reducing the threat of terrorism. Government needs to take urgent steps to protect the nation.”