The Sissala East Municipal office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has engaged community-based groups and individuals in the municipality to consciously guard against the infiltration of violent extremist groups into their communities.
Some staff of the NCCE had been engaging artisans, women groups, youth groups, Faith-Based Organizations (FBOs), and community members across the municipality under the European Union-funded “Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism (PCVE)” project.
The project is aimed at preventing and containing violent extremism and terrorism through the promotion of social cohesion, peace, and tolerance in the five regions in the north and the regions bordering them.
Speaking to community folks in the municipality at different fora, Mr Hussein Elyasu, the Sissala East Municipal Director of the NCCE, stressed the need for the people to live in harmony by respecting divergent views and beliefs in religion, culture and tradition, and political matters.
He said the municipality was plagued with some developmental challenges including chieftaincy disputes, unemployment, poor road network, and inadequate social services among others served as incentives for extremist groups to come into the country through the municipality.
“The various traditional councils in the municipality and the Upper West Region House of Chiefs should expedite action on the numerous chieftaincy dispute cases dotted across the municipality since the disputes have already resulted in destruction of property and the maiming of people”, Mr Elyasu said.
He also appealed to religious leaders to eschew invective statements and other acts that could result in conflict and heighten security at their worship centres as part of efforts to help prevent violent extremism.
“The ability to prevent and contain violent extremism largely depends on how individuals, institutions, groups, and communities play their respective roles and how roles are well coordinated”, he explained.
Mr Elyasu encouraged the people to be security conscious and to report any suspicious characters or activities to the security agencies, community, and religious leaders for the necessary action to be taken.