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Opinion | Feb 8, 2018

I strongly disagree with Dr. Kwasi Anning, so-called security expert

Dr. Kwasi Anning
Dr. Kwasi Anning

Folks, when it comes to security threats, nothing by way of "intelligence" should be taken for granted or discounted, no matter where it comes from or what motivates it. That is why I strongly disagree with Security Analyst, Dr Kwesi Anning, who is also the Head of the Department of Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC).

He is reported to have urged the Ghana Government and Ghanaians in general to ignore the warning from Turkey's Parliament to Ghana about possible terrorist activities. Too rash on his part, I daresay.

In its warning, the Deputy Speaker of the Turkish Parliament had been reported as saying on Wednesday that Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO)-linked schools were not only a threat to the security of Turkey, but also to other countries (including Ghana), where the terror group is active.

He said so in a meeting with the head of the Ghana-Turkey Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Group, Sualihu Alhassan Dandawa.

This Deputy Speaker is Yasar Tuzun, the Republican People’s Party (CHP) MP. He was reported as drawing attention to the presence of FETO-linked schools in Ghana, five of which are active in Ghana. (See Turkey warns Ghana of active terror schools).

That is a warning to be welcomed, not brushed aside as Kwasi Anning has done. What is his reason for pooh-poohing this dire warning when Ghana's Dandawa had told the Turkish group that "Ghanaian authorities were aware of the threat"?

Dandawa's statement acknowledges the existence of a "threat" as pointed to by the Turkish authorities; not so?

Yet, Kwasi Anning thinks otherwise:
1. “I, as an analyst and knowing the nature of Turkish politics and the matter in which Fetullah has been turned into a monster and a devil to suit parochial domestic interests, we should dismiss this and just carry on with serious business of securing our country and getting the economy to move. This is not worth any serious consideration”;

2. “This is an attempt to use emotional solution to get Ghana to do their dirty work. What I think really is necessary now is that because the Turks have raised this alarm that our intelligence services sharpen their watch and their protection of those who go to these schools. We can’t take it for granted that Turkey and its agents will not attempt to do something untoward. It is very unfortunate that this man comes here and shows such gross disrespect to our hospitality. This is not the way international diplomacy is played”;

3. “Do they have the audacity to come here and to tell us that we should close these schools? I think really, it is a mark of gross disrespect. So thank you very much but I think we are capable of making our own assessments and analyses of those who are potential threats to us,”

4. "is this man trying to tell us that the whole national security apparatus is so damn ignorant that he has to come from Ankara to tell us? I mean is that what we want to tell our own agents? It is nice for partnerships to develop but partnerships that seeks to undermine your credibility, your identity, authority and knowledge, I think we should handle that partnership with a 50 foot pole”.

Is that how a security analyst/expert is expected to react to dire warnings regarding terror plots/activities? Of course, Turkey has suffered terror attacks over the years and knows what it takes to weigh circumstances. Alerting Ghana to the threat isn't out of place at all. He who feels it knows it; not so?

Whether our security agencies are ahead of the potential terrorists is not known. The situation in Ghana isn't rosy, considering the activities of disgruntled elements in the political vigilante groups formed, nurtured, and used by Akufo-Addo. They are on the rampage and can morph into what the Turkish authorities have stepped on our feet about.

Other embittered elements exist too and can become fertile grounds for recruitment by terrorists. Is Kawsi Anning saying that Ghana is insulated against terror attacks? He should find out from Burkina Faso and the Ivory Coast!!

Why not accept this warning in good faith and intensify surveillance and other security-oriented measures to forestall any explosion?

I wonder why Kwasi Anning thinks that his opinions are better than the warning given by the Turkish authorities. The Akufo-Addo government had better keep its ears and eyes on the ground. Believing Kwasi Anning isn't the right way to go.

I shall return…

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Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D.
Michael J.K. Bokor, Ph.D., © 2018

This author has authored 1325 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: MichaelJKBokor

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