The media, and indeed intellectuals in Ghana, can be very interesting sometimes, especially when it comes to disseminating news from outside, about their country.
The norm is that, greater premium is placed on information about the country from foreign portals; vis-à-vis locally-sourced ones.
A few months ago, when the Director-General of the Police CID, COP Maame Yaa Tiwaa Addo-Danquah, announced that the police had tracked the whereabouts of the three kidnapped Takoradi girls, Priscilla Blessing Bentum (21), Ruth Love Quayeson (18) and Priscilla Mantebea Koranchie (18), and was ‘sure’ of their safety, many people jumped over the roof.
Virtually everybody (media analysts, security experts, social critics and politicians) was at the throat of the CID boss on the grounds that it was ‘unwise’ on her part to have made her findings public, since those holding the girls could change their modus operandi.
Even the Attorney-General reportedly vented her displeasure at Maame Tiwaa, saying she was jeopardizing efforts at arresting the culprits.
But when last week the UK government hinted us of an imminent terrorist attack on Ghana, and the news was carried out by nearly every media outlet, nobody condemned the screaming publications it got.
THE NEW PUBLISHER finds it strange that, nobody saw that too as a sensitive matter to be handled exclusively by the security.
But without downplaying the alert, the paper even wonders whether the UK caution was any ‘news’ at all, since one did not need to be an expert to figure out that, going by what has happened in Mali, Nigeria, Burkina Faso, and Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana could be a ‘fair’ target.
“Terrorists are likely to try to carry out attacks in Ghana. While there have been no recent attacks in Ghana, terrorist groups in West Africa have demonstrated their capability and intent by mounting attacks in 2015 and 2016 in Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso and Mali, targeting beach resorts, hotels, cafes and restaurants visited by foreigners”, the alert stated.
That was not the first time we were being alerted. In August, 2017, there was a similar one from the same source.
According to Canadian and UK diplomatic authorities at the time, the threat remained elevated in Ghana as of August 2017, citing the potential for terrorists to attempt indiscriminate attacks and target places frequented by Westerners (such as shopping malls, government buildings, and public areas such as bars, restaurants, hotels, and tourist sites).
Then there was another alert, this time by the US government, in 2018.
THE NEW PUBLISHER is of the opinion that, while such alerts will continue to come, as and when necessary, the intelligentsia must be circumspect in spreading them so as not to create unnecessary fear and panic among the citizenry.
We request that sensitive alerts are left with the appropriate authorities for resolution. And on the home front too, we expect the same from our pastors, whenever they receive any such revelations.