A Former Director of the National Intelligence Bureau, Mr Kofi Bentum Quantson, has urged Ghanaians to consider themselves as an integral part of the national security architecture.
He says the security of the state is a shared responsibility and it is incumbent on both the security apparatus and the general public to develop the needed rapport that will translate into effective national security.
The security intelligence expert further stated that the era that portrayed the security architecture as a separate entity from the public must end, stressing that each member of society has a responsibility towards effective intelligence gathering and the overall security of the state.
Mr Quantson was speaking at the fourth edition of the National Security Seminar series organised by the UPSA Centre for Peace and Security Research where he was the keynote speaker.
The event was held on the theme “The Nexus between Security and Intelligence in Ghana: General Perspectives and Challenges”.
Mr Quantson further averred that the Ghanaian citizenry should be sensitised on their role in the maintenance of peace and security in the country.
This, he said, would help them to better appreciate their role of volunteering information to the police and other security agencies as a national obligation rather than a generous gesture.
He said the security agencies, on the other hand, must also put in place measures to improve their sullied image by being professional in the discharge of their duties, turning around the fear factor or culture of intimidation that is often associated with them.
“Security is native to human existence, therefore, the protector and the protected must come together to work in harmony for the common good of all,” Mr Quantson said. “If you fear the person protecting you, how can you volunteer information to them?”
He opined that a proper national security system is one that embodies human, environmental and is targeted at the survival, safety, contentment and overall wellbeing of the citizenry.
To this end, he said, it is the responsibility of every government to formulate policies and put in place interventions that inure to the national interest while keeping the general wellbeing of the citizens at heart.
Mr Quantson said anything short of that undermines the national interest and poses a national security threat.
The event was attended by past and present students of the Master of Arts in Peace, Security and Intelligence Management programme at UPSA.