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27.10.2008 Editorial

Surreal Development

By Daily Guide

We are disturbed at the kidnapping of an Israeli national in our own backyard. As carried elsewhere in this edition, Ehud Avni, in his 60s, a businessman has been kidnapped by some persons.

Having earlier been kidnapped in Nigeria before undergoing the ordeal again here we think there are a number of questions the security fraternity would be asking now.

His captors whose nationalities are not known are demanding a ransom of some $300,000, a development which explains the criminality in the drama.

We take great consolation though that there is no political undertone to the saga because that would make the whole thing murky and complex.

Since we are dealing with a gang of sophisticated criminals, who might not be Ghanaians after all, we ask that the taskforce empanelled to deal with the situation live up to expectation.

Snippets of information reaching us indicate that the grounds covered so far suggest that our national security apparatus especially the Research Department is on top of the matter.

Although the taskforce is tight-lipped as should be the case in such matters, we can confidently state that all will be well and soon.

That the saga has happened at all on our soil is indicative of the fact that we should not as Ghanaians think that certain ills can only take place elsewhere and not here.

Ghanaians in general must be security conscious in everything that they do to make such nasty and diplomatically embarrassing developments impossible.

 It is surprising how reckless we are as a people in dealing with important issues bordering on national security especially when they are interacting with complete strangers.

Perhaps to be fair to us as a whole, we have not been schooled about such matters as is the case in countries which are constantly under siege or permanently at war.

Be it as it may, the kidnap story should wake us up to our responsibility to the extent that when we spot strangers in our midst we would show interest in finding out who they are.

This way we would be able to alert the security agencies when we find some unusualness about the strangers in our midst.

If it turns out that the kidnappers are non-Ghanaian it means that we may have to re-think certain aspects of our immigration arrangements. This though must be in line with our responsibilities to the ECOWAS protocol on the subject.

Our national interest in all such arrangements must be paramount and must naturally supersede those of regional groupings.

If on the other hand the suspects involved in the weird action are Ghanaians it points at the extent of the growing sophistication of our underworld.

We need to beef up our immigration and security systems with a view to determining migrants with criminal intentions even before their intentions are executed.

Success in this area lies in the cooperation between the security agencies especially the Ghana Immigration Service and members of the Ghanaian public.

We have taken certain things for granted that when international criminals with proclivity for kidnapping land here they would chalk massive success before the security apparatus overwhelm them.

How many landlords for instance take interest in what occupation their tenants are engaged in or where they come from?

Such details among others are so important in the intelligence realm that we as citizens too must start showing interest in them so that when the need arises we can alert our security apparatus.

After all Ghana belongs to all of us. We pray that the taskforce and the national security apparatus as a whole get over this nightmare whose diplomatic embarrassment cannot be over-emphasised.

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