The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has reminded Ghanaians of the need to engender national cohesion and inclusiveness in the country’s quest for development and democratic advancement.
It said threats to national cohesion and security such as socio-economic and cultural grievances, poverty, unemployment, violent radicalization, political point-scoring and reprisal attacks must be addressed.
The recent emergence of terrorists and secessionist groups across the West African sub-region called for alertness to avert any unforeseen situation that might destabilise the peaceful co-existence in the country, the Commission noted.
Mr Ofori Boateng, Central Regional Director of the Commission, gave the advice at a forum on ‘National Security Strategy and the National Framework for Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism’ held at Bereku in the Assin North District of the Central Region.
The NCCE facilitated programme was sponsored by the European Union (EU) to educate the public, particularly the youth, on the devastating impact of secessionism and violent extremism to prevent such activities and their dire consequences on national development.
It is aimed at fighting organised crime, promoting respect for human rights and rule of law by equipping the youth with relevant information on violent extremism and radicalism and guarding them against being recruited to cause violence.
Threats to national cohesion, Mr Boateng said, was not only caused by the unguided desire of leaders to attain political office but by citizens who failed to respect the rights of others.
Such practices, in most cases, led to vices, which threatened the sovereignty of the State and jeopardised national unity, he said.
He noted that peace was an integral part of nation-building and that development only thrived in unity while violence set the clock of progress backwards.
“Let’s choose to live peacefully because when peace prevails, development is assured. Let us all be duty bearers in ensuring that there is peace in all situations,” Me Boateng said.
Ms Cathleen Addy, Deputy Chairperson of the Commission, described Ghana as an oasis of peace that had received scores of refugees from many African countries with civil unrest and must remain as such.
She said it was important for Ghanaians to embrace tolerance in all situations to deepen democracy and also consolidate the country’s reputation as one of the peaceful and stable States in Africa.
“Tolerance is the antidote to most violent clashes, therefore, people must respect divergent views and make their case without drawing daggers,” she said.
In his welcoming address, Mr Daniel Kwesi Thompson, Assin North District Director of the Commission, reiterated the need for all to guard the country’s peace, saying “anyone who engages in violence and intimidation, has nothing good to offer Ghanaians in the first place.
“There is the need for collective efforts to ensure a peaceful election. Africa and the entire global community is watching,” he added