The Ministry of National Security (MNS) has advised organisers and patrons of upcoming events in December to put in measures that would enhance security during the festive season.
According to the ministry, this was necessary in the face of emerging security threats in the nation’s neighbouring countries.
The advice was given when Ghana Tourism Authority held a stakeholders engagement with National Security and event organisers in Accra.
The Administrator, Counter Terrorism, MNS, Mr Marvin Obeng Antwi, said event centres have been the targets of terrorists, “event centres are soft spots to be attacked especially during occasions because the crowd is huge and that is what terrorists look out for”.
The month of December is the busiest time of year in Ghana with an increased number of visitors and a tremendous number of events that take place across the country.
According to him, potential indicators of terrorist activities include, suspicious collection of hotel maps, photos, or notes or diagrams with infrastructure highlighted, unusual inquiries about practices pertaining to the facility or the facility’s supporting infrastructure by guests.
He therefore, called on the hospitality industries to be cautious of such indicators and prompt the security agency to avoid any security breach.
He advised the industry to invest in appropriate and fit-for-purpose equipment to enhance security of centres and build cooperation with the security agencies for the conduct of annual or periodic security audits.
“Fight against violent extremism and terrorism is a collective effort and security is a shared responsibility for both state and non-state actors so let us all get involved,” he said.
Mr Antwi said the security agencies would continue to provide advice on specific security and safety issues through training and capacity building for the public.
The CEO of Ghana Tourism Authority, Akwasi Agyeman, said December was a busy period for event organisers in the country and that the secretariat of the authority was ready to support them in relation to security concerns and anything that would ensure the smooth execution of all planned events under the December to Ghana brand.
He said Ghana was ready to receive tourists and vacationers for December in Ghana activities and “we will have fun and ensure all are safe”.
The head of the Client Services Unit at the Ministry of National Security, Akosua Danquah Ntim Sekyere, speaking about the “See something say something campaign said National security personnel will be at some of the events to observe developments.
Operations, Headquarters, Supt Bismark Boakye-Ansoh, urged the event organisers to keep vigilant against security breaches and threats and also recommended them to be extra watchful during the season.
He said the security officers would continue to check crimes and protect lives and properties before, during and after the festive season.
BY AGNES OPOKU SARPONG