The attack on one of Ouagadougou’s leading hotels is ample evidence that we are not out of the radar of the dreaded and deadly terrorists touting doubtful Islamic credentials.
The world, especially Ghana, woke up to the disturbing news about the Moktar Belmoktar’s Al-Qaeda In The Islamic Maghreb, AQIM, an ISIS-inspired and supported grouping descending on a hotel largely frequented by Western officials, some of them UN staff in Ouagadougou.
With UN installations and staff not in short supply in Ghana, shouldn’t we be careful about stretching our so-called Ghanaian hospitality beyond reasonable notches?
Burkina Faso, of which Ouagadougou is capital, is a little under two-hour drive from Tamale and perhaps forty minutes flight time from Accra. Should we not be apprehensive therefore about the unfolding security challenges in that country, more so since we are hosting two former inmates of Guantanamo Bay suspects?
With facts about how some released inmates have returned to frontline operations for ISIS and Al-Qaeda now available, the need to be wary about our guests should not be overlooked.
Unfortunately, the subject has become so muddled up that the positive analysis required for informed conclusions have given way to unnecessary and perilous bigotry in a country which has so far been spared religious extremism and its fallouts.
It is auspicious that the Burkinabes are fighting an open war against criminals hiding behind religious cloaks and whose presence in adjoining Mali has drawn blood in the past few years and threatened international heritage sites much to the worry of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and indeed the rest of the civilised world.
Who could have thought that this band of criminals could come so close as to hit the Burkinabe capital and engage in firefights with both American and French Special Forces and exacting close to 30 deaths on the people?
That when a neighbour’s house is on fire you must get buckets of water ready is a truism we cannot brush under the carpet.
An article in the highly revered Wall Street Journal in its 15th January, 2016 edition says it all about our goof, a must read for those who seek more facts to make their independent judgement about the quagmire in which we find ourselves. We might have to reconsider what to do with our unwanted cargo, given the emerging developments in Burkina Faso.
Muslims form a respectable portion of the Ghanaian population – a fact known to those who think that their religious ideology should subsume all others. Those who do not belong to their brand of the faith are infidels and should be killed by the likes of Jihadi Johns.
Woe betide our country when their preachers set foot on the country to spread their killer ideology subtly and openly!
The recent migration, as it were, of Ghanaian graduates to ISIS territory is sufficient proof that we must be careful about those we host, especially if these have links to the religious zealots. With Burkina Faso in their sights, let us be on guard because offering such persons sanctuary for some of us is only being compassionate and a manifestation of our humanity.