The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Ghana) has blamed the security situation in the country on the economic crisis facing the country and that the economic gains of a middle-income status had not be translated into improved living standards.
Mr Isaac Bayor, National Network Coordinator of WANEP-Ghana, said there were rising levels of frustration due to economic hardship, unemployment and high cost of living and these had contributed to the crime rate in Ghana.
“These concerns become even more pronounced as some peace and security analysts including WANEP-Ghana believe that there exists a nexus between economic, security and social imbalances and increased social tension and criminality especially amongst the youth”, he said.
Mr Bayor expressed these concerns in Tamale on Monday in a press conference to release its first quarter early warning security alert which spans January to March.
He explained that when people were unable to meet their economic needs, they resorted to other illegal means in achieving their aims and that the increasing utility hikes were possible security threats and called for action to prevent the situation.
According to him, there was currently tension mounting between the Dagaabas and the Sisaalas in Fielmuo and Nimoro in the Lambussie-Karni District of the Upper West Region and called for urgent steps to prevent any act of violence especially before the onset of the rains.
Mr Bayor said data from National Early Warning (GHANAWARN) system shows that despite stringent efforts by the security agencies, armed attacks remained the topmost security threat and that killings, which could be described as targeted, persist.
He said 124 human insecurity statistics were recorded within the period with motor accidents being the second most threatening human security issue while social tension and labour related demonstrations was the third threatening issue.
He stated that the data captured 27 armed attacks representing 49 percent out of which 17 of the armed attacks were homicide related and that “WANEP-Ghana is worried that these murders if not stopped now could lead to contract killings of many more high profile individuals in the country especially as 2016 elections draws closer”.
Greater Accra recorded 41 human insecurity figures out of the total of 124 followed by the Ashanti Region which recorded 29 and the Northern Region following third with 14 cases.
Mr Bayor urged the Ghana Police Service, the judiciary and other security agencies to remain responsive, fair and open in enforcing the rule of law to serve as deterrent to crime and violence perpetrators.
He called for increased police and community collaboration to help in the sharing of information towards crime and violence prevention.
Mr Albert Yelyang, Data Analyst at the Human Security Early Warning Center of WANEP-Ghana said the GHANAWARN that picks security threats across the country started in 2009 and modeled on the ECOWAS early warning security system explaining that many people including community members from conflict prone areas feed data into the system.