Echoes of boko haram are reverberating ominously nearby and we ignore them at our peril. We should consider the dangers posed by the extremists not too far away from us and take the necessary security precautions lest we are taken unawares.
Such extremists can filter into the country as ordinary preachers, sometimes finding space to lay their heads in neighbourhood mosques. When they gain a foothold here, their true intentions are soon manifested through the extreme sermons they deliver towards the radicalisation of, especially, the youth.
In countries with most people economically challenged, especially among the youth, such dangerous elements find support among the disgruntled and frustrated.
Ghanaians have the tendency to think that they would always be spared the disturbing rumblings in other parts of the world without being on their guard against such dangers.
With the reports of boko haram guns and Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) reaching us from Niger and even Mali, it is high time we became more security conscious than we have ever been, especially given the cultural similarities among persons of the Northern parts of West Africa.
It was instructive, therefore, that President John Mahama, when he spoke to a BBC correspondent in France recently, dwelt on the security threats to the sub-region posed by the religious extremists and the fact that no amount is too big for tackling the challenge headlong.
We think another strategy we should wage against such extremists, whose resolve in internationalising their campaign is unshakeable, is creating awareness among our people.
Of particular importance in this direction are Muslims because the extremists would prefer infiltrating the ranks of members of this great religion by firstly condemning their mode of practising the tenets of the religion.
Indeed boko haram in the Northern parts of Nigeria regard all other Muslims as infidels but themselves. Those they regard as infidels are those who deal with the state and who must die in their estimation. Their bloody actions across the sub-region are too glaring to be repeated here. Members of the Islamic faith should be enjoined to watch out for such elements who would leave no stone unturned in their desire to radicalise everybody they can come in contact with.
In a country noted for her hospitability and porous borders, the peddlers of bloody extremism in the name of Islamic evangelisation will find a welcome abode here.
The national security council have an unenviable task on their hands, which demands that they engage with Muslim youths, whose ranks the extremists could infiltrate for their criminal ends. This way early warning signs can be detected and the necessary actions taken to avert negative aftermaths.
The role of the Ghana Immigration Service and Ghanaians living along the porous borders cannot be overlooked in this regard. They must be empowered to ward off suspicious elements heading for our country. Preventing boko haram from setting foot here is a national task behooving every Ghanaian.
Source: Editorial/Daily Guide
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