Terror threats: Embassies issuing scare crow gimmicks; we must challenge them-ILAPI Boss


The Executive Director for policy think tank Institute for Liberty and Policy Innovation (ILAPI), Mr. Peter Bismark Kwofie is questioning whether the terror threats issued by the UK, Canada and Australia are not exaggerated.

Mr. Kwofie made reference to same terror threats issued by these countries to Togo and other African countries which never occurred and has admonished Ghana to challenge these security threats and win the confidence of travellers.

“Same terror alert report is issued by these countries to Ghana. None of these warnings ever happened in those countries. Togo at a point in time had to face same terror attack warnings from Canada. Can Ghana challenge these security alerts to build confidence with travelers as done by South Africa?”

He has also asked these embassies to exercise patience and work with state security agencies in the country than to provide what he termed as scare crow gimmicks.

“I suggest those embassies ought to exercise patience and should work with the security institutions in those countries than to provide such a scare crow gimmicks that undermines development. However, we should not downplay these alerts? ”

Read Below his full post

Are the UK, Canada and Australian government’s security alerts to Ghana full of exaggeration?

In February 2018,the disappearance of an elderly Cape Town couple in KwaZulu-Natal more than a week, led to an update by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to a terrorism travel advisory to South Africa. This caused diplomatic strain between the two countries with South African officials, accused the UK of acting in haste and exaggerating.

Five days ago, the Canadian embassy in south Africa issued a security and safety warning to it citizens. On the embassy’s website, an excerpt read, ………Crime significantly increases after dark in major city centres and townships. After dark, avoid the areas of: Berea, Hillbrow and Yeoville in Johannesburg, Sunnyside in Pretoria, the beachfront and Victoria wharf in Durban. In Cape Town, avoid walking from downtown hotels to the waterfront. Crimes of opportunity There is a high risk of pickpocketing. You should not carry your wallet in your back pocket. Do not show signs of affluence, display money or carry valuables such as laptop computers or cameras. When at restaurants or bars, do not leave your bag under your chair or table or hung over the back of a chair; keep it on your lap. Ensure that all your bags’ zippers, straps and fasteners are closed and secure, and be aware of people behind and around you.”

Today 11th June, 2019, the Canadian embassy in Nigeria has issued similar security risks to its citizens. An excerpt reads, “Nigeria – Avoid non-essential travel to Nigeria, with a few exceptions (see below). The security situation throughout the country is unpredictable, and there is a significant risk of terrorism, crime, inter-communal clashes, armed attacks and kidnappings.
Regional risk level – Avoid all travel. Avoid all travel to the following regions: the northern and Middle Belt states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, Plateau and Yobe, due to the high risk of terrorism, inter-communal violence and kidnapping the Niger Delta states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo and Rivers (with the exception of Rivers’ capital city, Port Harcourt, where we advise against non-essential travel), due to the unstable security situation and the heightened risk of kidnapping. Exercise a high degree of caution in the cities of Abuja, Calabar and Lagos due to the incidence of crime.”

On May 4th, 2019, LIBERIA, MONROVIA – The British Government issued a travel alert warning its nationals of avoiding protest sites, noting that terrorists are likely to carry out attacks in Liberia. The attacks, according to the May 5 travel alert, “could be indiscriminate, especially at places visited by foreigners.” The warning from the British follows a similar alert from the Canadian Government admonishing its citizens in Liberia to be mindful of their safety and security while traveling to Liberia.These alerts come ahead of a planned mass protest slated for June 7.

Also in April 2018, the Australian government cautioned it citizens of a possible terror attack in South Africa. The website of the Australian government indicated:

The following reasons for the advisory were provided:
“Because of the high level of serious crime.” There is a threat of terrorism in South Africa. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in places visited by foreigners, such as shopping centres.” “The Western Cape, including the city of Cape Town, is experiencing severe drought conditions and strict water restrictions are in place.” “The frequency of most types of crime is increasing. Robberies are frequently reported on the roads and at shopping centres. Visitors to shopping malls should remain vigilant at all times.” “Be cautious when using public transport.

Same terror alert report is issued by these countries to Ghana. None of these warnings ever happened in those countries. Togo at a point in time had to face same terror attack warnings from Canada. Can Ghana challenge these security alerts to build confidence with travelers as done by South Africa? I suggest those embassies ought to exercise patience and should work with the security institutions in those countries than to provide such a scare crow gimmicks that undermines development. However, we should not downplay these alerts?

Peter Bismark.

 

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