Security must be Shared Responsibility – Participants of National Security Forum

Participants at the end of a two-day National Security Forum organised at the University of Cape Coast have called on Ghanaians to tackle security as a collective responsibility. The participants, in a communique released to the media, stressed that peace and security are prerequisites for development and noted that issues of mob injustice, vigilantism, land guards, drug trafficking, ethnic and chieftaincy disputes threaten state peace and security. The two-day forum on National Security was on the theme, "Ghana's Peace and Security 60 Years on: Successes, Challenges and Prospects”. It was organised by the Department of Sociology and Anthropology, in collaboration with the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa, and the National Peace Council. Participants were drawn from the Ghana Police Service, Ghana Prisons Service, Ghana Immigration Service, Ghana National Fire Service, Bureau of National Investigation, political parties, civil society organisations, second cycle institutions, youth groups, academics and postgraduate students of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology. Participants noted that corruption, unemployment and inequality were major public enemies that undermine the security of a country. They, therefore, called on all Ghanaians to see national security as a shared responsibility and as such, they should be willing to volunteer information to the security agencies, as regards issues that could endanger national security, life and property for prompt measures to be taken. Participants also urged citizens to take interest in safety programmes such as the fire safety education programmes organised by the Ghana National Fire Service, stressing that "safety in security is better than security in safety. " The stakeholders also called on politicians to refrain from politicising issues on national security and implored political leaders to allow security officials to perform their professional duties without any hindrance. They also called for security of tenure for security chiefs and heads of security agency, to promote efficiency in the discharge of their mandate. Participants also urged management of tertiary institutions to consider security on campus as a topmost priority in ensuring effective teaching and learning. Among the discussants at the Forum were the Minister for Interior, Hon. Ambrose Dery; Deputy Minister for Defense, Hon. Derek Oduro (Rtd); a former National Security Advisor, Brigadier General Nunoo Mensah; Chairman of the National Peace Council, Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante; a former Provost of the College of Humanities and Legal Studies (UCC), Prof. Stephen B. Kendie, and the Head of the Department of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Centre (KAIPC), Dr. Kwesi Anning.