Youth groups in the Bolgatanga Municipality of the Upper East Region have pledged their readiness to assist the security agencies combat crime especially violent extremism and activities of terrorism
They therefore called on the security services particularly the Ghana Police Service to assist the various communities to form Violent Extremism and Radicalism Taskforce comprising the youth to help clamp down perpetuators of violent extremism and radicalism.
The youth activists made the call in a communiqué after an engagement with the Municipal Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), funded by the European Union (EU), as part of activities to curb violent extremism in the country.
They were made up of youth from the various communities, political parties, religious groups, and Persons With Disabilities in the Municipality.
The event was on theme, “Preventing Violent and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana (NORPREVSEC).
Mr Desmond Awine Ania, the Spokesperson for the Youth Activist Groups, noted that the youth were ready and willing to work with the security agencies to fight crime in their communities by monitoring and reporting persons suspected to be involved in Violent extremism and other crime related activities to the police.
Mr Victor Nuworkpor, the Upper East Deputy Regional Director of NCCE, said apart from Ghana, almost the entire sub region had experienced terrorists’ attacks and urged Ghanaians particularly the youth to be extra vigilant by reporting suspicious characters to the police.
Mr Fredrick Felix Amenga-Etego, a Member of the Navrongo-Bolgatanga Catholic Diocesan Media Network, said it was often the youth that were recruited to perform the negative act of violent extremism and appealed to them to desist from being used for such acts.
He mentioned some of the negative effects of conflicts as loss of property, livelihoods and human dignity and added that countries take decades to recover from results of conflicts.
Mr Jafaru Omar, the Bolgatanga Municipal Director of NCCE, said the main goal of the project was to fight organized crime, promote respect for human rights and rule of law through equipping the youth with relevant information on violent extremism and radicalism and to guide them from being recruited to cause violence.
“The engagement is therefore to equip the participants’ understanding on peace building mechanisms and enhance their knowledge on community-based mechanisms for countering violent extremism,” he stressed.
He urged the youth to be watch dogs of their communities and report any suspicious characters to the police.
“These engagements will empower the youth to be able to identify warning signals of violent extremism and serve as community ambassadors to educate their fellow youth to easily identify suspicious characters and report them to the appropriate authorities,” he added.