AT the Ei-Ul-Fitr prayers in Accra on Wednesday, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo charged Ghanaians to report suspicious characters they find in their communities to the police to prevent them from causing mayhem.
He further asked people of all faiths to exercise restraint in the face of provocation for the lack of restraints would feed into the destructive plans of the miscreants who seek to destroy in the name of religion.
The President’s directive comes in the wake of religious attacks in the sub-region and beyond, where violence has been visited on Christians and Muslims at their respective places of worship.
A similar attack could have been recorded in the Upper West Region but for the vigilance of members of the Roman Catholic Church in Hamile who alerted the police of the presence of a Burkinabe wielding a gun in their church.
So the President’s charge to report suspicious people is not only in order but timely and should be taken seriously by all citizenry. We simply have to be security conscious due to the emerging threats of terrorism.
Indeed, over the last few days, the issue of religious attacks have been fairly discussed on radio and TV shows in the country with equal attention given to the issue by the print.
From the various discussions, it is clear that our religious places of worship are becoming unsafe due to the complex dimensions crime and religion have assumed over the years.
Mosques and churches, supposed to be safe havens, have become an easy target for terrorists as blood is shed daily to satisfy their own religious egos.
But it is not only places of worship that are becoming unsafe. Shopping malls, theatres, schools, hospitals, markets are also places where these miscreants could unleash mayhem once they get into the country.
So inasmuch as the citizenry must become vigilant and on the lookout for ill-minded and suspicious people, our borders must be secured and made impenetrable by such people.
Our immigration officers must be equipped with adequate logistics to solidify their border management. They must also ensure that guns and other weapons do not escape their watch.
The citizenry must, aside volunteering information, should themselves, not liaise with such persons and sell off the enviable peace the country has enjoyed over the years.
We call on religious leaders to propagate their religious messages with outmost circumspect and without verbally attacking other people’s beliefs as this is one of the factors that trigger religious conflicts.
It is true many of us have not witnessed the devastating scenes of religious and terror attacks but at least we might have seen videos on television. This should remind us always of the need to do all we can to preserve the peace in the country. We must heed to the President’s advice.