Mr Eyram Zander, the Abuakwa South Municipal Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has urged Ghanaians to shun vigilantism and secessionist activities.
The call follows the Municipal’s Inter-party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) meeting held in Kyebi with representatives of stakeholders on violent extremism and anti-secessionism.
The NCCE and national security organised the meeting on the theme: “Empowering Ghanaians to stand for national cohesion and inclusive participation,” which highlighted violence extremism and anti-secessionism activities as threats to Ghana’s security.
The programme aimed to create a platform for dialogue with the stakeholders on ways to reinforce their role in peacebuilding and deepen collaborations as well as advocate for appropriate avenues to dialogue interparty or intraparty grievances.
Mr Zander expressed the need to preserve the country’s peace, considering the increasing rate of criminal activities coupled with “the threat of violence and terrorist attacks, pouring in from neighbouring countries presently.”
He urged Ghanaians to be mindful of the fact that “we are not immune to the aftermath of violence happening now in countries such as Niger, Sudan among others if current happenings of high crime cases and violence are not curbed immediately.”
He also urged participants to educate their members on peaceful coexistence and inclusive participation in national development.
Ghana’s security and national cohesion could also be undermined by socio-economic and cultural grievances caused by poverty, youth unemployment, inequality and marginalization of vulnerable groups in society, he said.
Participants were taken through the Vigilante and Related offences Act 2019 (Act 999), the Public Order Act, 1994 (Act 491) and the Alternative Dispute Resolutions (ADR) mechanism.
These, according to experts, are yardsticks and appropriate avenues by which all must conduct their interest daily to seek redress, particularly grievances relating to election disputes.
Mr Alex Sackey, the Eastern Regional Director of the NCCE, said vigilance and consciousness at all places such as homes, workplaces and related gatherings were key for every citizen.
He advised the public to help fish out suspicious characters and report them to appropriate quarters such as the security.
He also urged participants to seek background checks on the authenticity of support groups, especially NGOs promising all forms of aid such as financial support, employment, and infrastructure, among others since terrorist groups preyed on the provision of such needs to lure people patronizing such assistance into fostering terror schemes.
He recommended that ADR platforms should be used to resolve intra-party and inter-party grievances than soliciting to mount equalization on issues that present themselves as fertile grounds for violent extremists and secessionists to explore.
Superintendent Alhando Sukanu, Head of the Abuakwa South Municipal Police Criminal Investigation Department, said people should seek useful information about characters with radical tendencies and share them with the security agencies.