Government determined to protect nation against terrorism – Defence Minister

The government is determined to protect citizens from the threat of terrorism, the Minister of Defence, Dominic Nitiwul, has said.

He acknowledged that terrorist threats in the country were real and that a lot of work was being done particularly in the northern part of the country, which shares borders with some sahelian countries.

Mr Nitiwul said many troops had been deployed to the area to shield the country from the threats of terrorists.

The minister said this during his interaction with journalists after the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs of the United Kingdom(UK), James Cleverly, witnessed a demonstration by UK-trained Ghanaian soldiers on counter-terrorism, as part of a defence partnership between the two countries.

Present at the event was the Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah; the British High Commissioner to Ghana, Harriet Thompson, and some army chiefs.

Mr Cleverly’s visit is the second time a Foreign Secretary has come to Ghana since Chancellor Jeremy Hunt visited in 2019.

Mr Nitiwul called for more of such training exercises “so that we can continue to protect our citizens”.

He, however, said although the military was poised to deal with acts of terrorism, it needed the support of the people because “once you have the support of the people, the military would do anything and everything for you”.

The minister described the partnership with the UK as significant, saying “I think it is a good thing that we get more of such support from around the world”.

On whether Ghana would send troops to Niger, as part of an ECOWAS mission to that country after a one-week ultimatum by the sub regional body to the coup makers to return Niger to constitutional rule expired, he said: “After the one-week we would seek the direction of the President on the way forward.

But I can say that the member states are ready, if it means using force”.

“We would wait for the direction of the Commanders-in-Chief of the various Armed Forces and if the decision is to use force, member countries would contribute troops to do that,” Mr Nitiwul added.

He said the days when people used the force of arms to overthrow governments were gone and that no nation should accept that.

“And we should not accept that in our nation, not today, not tomorrow.

To take up arms to remove the government, the armed forces of Ghana is beyond that,” the minister further said.

Mr Cleverly commended the troops for the display of professionalism during the demonstration exercise.

He pledged his country’s commitment to offer more of such training exercises to build the capacity of the armed forces to safeguard the security of the nation.

Earlier, Mr Cleverly was accompanied by Ms Thompson to visit Trashy Bags Africa, a plastic recycling company at Abelemkpe, a suburb of Accra.

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