Ghana an oasis of peace surrounded by turbulence – Akufo-Addo says we must not take it for granted

President Nana Akufo-Addo has said he is “glad to be able to report that the entire territory that makes up our nation is safe, secure and under the control of the government and people of Ghana”.

He admitted on Tuesday, 27 February 2024 that “this might sound like a pedestrian statement with which to start a Message on the State of the Nation”.

“Unfortunately, far from it being an everyday truism, this is no longer a statement or claim that can be easily made in these times in the neighbourhood in which we are. West Africa is under threat of terrorism and violent extremism, rapidly spreading southwards from the Sahel to coastal West Africa”, the president noted.

He said: “We can no longer take the territorial integrity of our countries for granted.”

“Indeed, many of our neighbours have already fallen victim, and lost large portions of their territories to extremist groups, and Ghana, by the grace of the Almighty, is the only coastal state along the Gulf of Guinea that has so far not recorded a terrorist attack”.

“Mr Speaker, the peace and security we have in our country has not happened by chance. It has taken deliberate policy and planning on the part of Government, and a lot of hard work and dedication on the part of our security services to keep our country safe and secure.”

“I might add that it has also meant we have had to spend a lot of money that would otherwise have been available to spend on many of our development needs”.

“But I believe we are all agreed that the primary responsibility of the state towards its citizens is to provide and guarantee peace and security, and we are doing just that.

Since we came into office, we have ensured a significant expansion of the Armed Forces and all the other security agencies. We are paying diligent attention to their welfare as well”.

President Akufo-Addo said the accommodation and physical environment generally of the security agencies are being improved.

“We have quickened the pace of the retooling and equipping of the security agencies to ensure readiness towards the emerging security threats”.

“For the majority of us and our everyday activities, it is the security of our streets and homes and communities that concern us most. We want our children and grandchildren to grow up in a safe atmosphere, and the Ghana Police Service play the lead role in this”.

“Again, Government has performed most creditably. They are much better equipped than they have ever been, and their increased visibility on the streets goes a long way to reassure the community.”

The changing image of the police, the president mentioned, is, “perhaps, best exemplified by the dramatic facelift they have given to the frontage of the Police Headquarters on the Ring Road in Accra”.

“It is beautiful, and I recommend it to all institutions and, indeed, households”.

“Whilst we are spending money, time, energy and lives keeping the country safe from external dangers, I must add that it is a matter of great concern that we continue to have so many chieftaincy and land disputes around the country, which tend to be breeding grounds for internal tensions and destabilisation”.

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