Ghanian Police prepares 125 officers for possible terrorist threats
One hundred and twenty-five senior and junior Police officers in the country have undergone rigorous counter-terrorism training in readiness to foil possible terror attacks in Ghana.
The 10-day training exercise at Boti Falls in the Eastern Region codenamed banb?, comes on the back of recent terrorist attacks in neighbouring Burkina Faso and the sub-region as well as the arrest of two Burkinabes at Hamile in the Upper East Region.
The officers were taken through various courses with the view to equipping them adequately to determine and handle all cases of terrorism that may arise in the country.
They are expected to in turn train other officers in the various regions.
“Terrorism has not yet come, but we have put on our dancing shoes and we are learning how to dance,” Head of the Counter Terrorism Unit, Chief Superintendent Raymond Adofiem, said at the end of the training.
He assured Ghanaians and their stakeholders that they were fully prepared to handle whatever threats that may arise, indicating all they require from the public is information.
“We cannot defeat this cancer by killing terrorist, we can only kill this canker by looking at terrorism itself,” he stated, and advised against the use of violence by persons or groups to solve whatever differences they may have, either with the state or any other persons.
He said “Let’s discourage violence, let’s not partake in violence despite our differences”.
The Counter Terrorism boss urged the officers to serve as ambassadors and also work towards closing the gap that exist between communities, citizens and the state.
Director for the African Centre for Counter Terrorism Emmanuel Kotin said the citizenry have a bigger role to play in the fight against terrorism, and underscored the need for them to provide credible information to the security agencies to achieve results.
Delivering a lecture on building population-centric security architecture, the role of civil service, media reportage and police professionalism, he observed that the capacity training was crucial in combating crime in the 21st century.
He was quick to point out that the training will not do much if the Counter Terrorism Unit is not retooled in all areas.
“Logistics is a challenge, government investment into retooling the police should not take a political dimension; security is expensive,” he stated.
Though he admitted Ghana was not under terrorist attack, but “when your friend’s beard is on fire, you fetch water and put close to your own”.
He commended the government and the security agencies for being proactive.
“Some few months back we raised concerns about this terrorism unit being dysfunctional, because there were no regional commands” he said, noting the situation was not changing.
For him, the officers trained should not be deployed back to their former units, “they should engage them to champion the course and be the trainer of trainers to their other colleagues.
Meanwhile, he said every police man, in view of their duty of keeping the internal security of the nation, should have some elementary training “in detecting and countering terrorism”.
In the view of the security analyst, special terrorism training should be limited to only the special commands.
“Some few months back, we raised concerns about this terrorism unit being dysfunctional, because there were no regional commands. We commend the proactiveness [of government]” he said.