President John Mahama has directed the National Security Council (NSC) to enhance security measures in the country as part of efforts to prevent terrorist attacks.
The President made this known in a letter he wrote from Nigeria, where he, in his capacity as ECOWAS Chairman, is conferring with President Goodluck Jonathan on how best to handle Boko Haram – a terrorist organisation that has been responsible for the death of thousands of Nigerians.
Boko Haram has recently gone on rampage, abducting over 200 schoolgirls from Chibok in Borno State, and following it with up with two deadly bomb attacks in the capital, Abuja, which claimed about 40 lives.
The deteriorating security situation in Nigeria, which has undermined Nigeria’s national security, prompted President Mahama to fly to Abuja to seek a solution to the crisis.
In the letter, which was copied to Graphic Online, President Mahama expressed outrage at what he described as the “acts of terror” that have been “waged against the Nigerian people.”
“The destabilisation of any nation in the West African sub-region is a threat to the security of all the other surrounding nations,” he said, pledging that Ghana will help to “dismantle the Boko Haram terrorist organisation” and help “free the kidnapped schoolgirls and return them to their homes and families.”
The President Mahama also addressed concerns among Ghanaians that intervening militarily in Nigeria may trigger reprisal attacks by Boko Haram on Ghanaian soil.
“Despite two devastating civil wars and several other incidents of political instability in our neighbouring countries, we managed to, hands of support as we deployed our peacekeepers to help these sister nations to regain, peace, stability and democracy plus respect for the rule of law.
“I wish to assure all Ghanaians that my administration takes seriously any threat to the security of our nation, whether indirect or direct, potential or perceived.
“I remain resolute in my commitment resolute in his commitment to strengthen Ghana “role as a beacon of peace, not only in the West African sub-region or on the African continent, but also in the world at large,” he said.
“Our borders are not open to terrorists. We will not harbour fugitives or allow them to use our country as a storehouse for weapons,” he added.
President Mahama announced that he had asked the NSC to step up security patrols across the country, and also ensure that only those with “legitimate” objectives are allowed to enter the country.
He went on to urge Ghanaians to “extend our hands of concern and support to our brothers and sisters in Nigeria.”
He also urged them “to remain vigilant and united as one people, committed to deepening the peace, unity and stability we cherish.”