Home News NCCE Director Addresses Violent Extremism’s Threat to Democratic Governance

NCCE Director Addresses Violent Extremism’s Threat to Democratic Governance

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NCCE
NCCE

The Builsa North Municipal Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Upper East Region, Mr Jeffrey Adda, says violent extremism and terrorism remain a serious challenge in the preservation of democratic governance.

He said democratic governance was essential for peace, prosperity and safety in the country and the sub-region, noting that “Terrorism and other forms of violence including violent extremism have the potential to derail the democratic gains Ghana has made as a country”.

Mr Adda said as the country prepared for a crucial election in less than a year, it was imperative that steps were taken to prevent the use of electioneering activities and platforms to perpetuate violence either by internal or external forces.

He was speaking at the Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) meeting on Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism (PCVE) at Sandema in the Builsa North Municipal capital.

The NCCE, with support from the European Union (EU), is organisng IPDC meetings on peace, tolerance and how to counter violent extremism and vigilantism across the districts dubbed, “PCVE Action in the Northern Regions of Ghana.”

Mr Adda said the main objective of the programme was to prevent and contain violent extremism through the promotion of social cohesion, peace and tolerance in the five Northern Regions and other hotspots in Ghana.

“This IPDC engagement with the political Parties and other stakeholders is aimed at ensuring prevention and containing of violence extremists and the negative consequences of joining violent extremists and terrorist groups,” he said.

The Director said democracy and good governance in the western world, which were key to development, were largely credible and attained peacefully, while elections in most developing countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa had not been the best.

He said Ghana had successfully conducted Presidential and Parliamentary elections with peaceful transition and transfer of political power from a ruling Party to an opposition Party in 2000, 2008, 2016 and in 2020.

Mr Adda said Ghana’s electoral successes over the years, called for the avoidance of complacency in the face of threats of violent extremism and terrorism.

“Even though Ghanaians have continued to uphold the supremacy of the constitution, the rule of law, free vibrant and a liberalised media landscape and the promotion of democracy in general, the country cannot afford to lose guard at this crucial moment,” he said.

He cautioned that any setbacks or challenges to democracy in Ghana’s 2024 elections could have negative rippling effect, potentially embolden anti-democratic forces in the sub-region and the African continent.

He said it was, therefore, critical for actions to be undertaken to address the rising threat of violent extremism that posed significant threat to the stability and security of Ghana.

Mr Adda assured participants at the meeting that the NCCE would work closely with all religious bodies and communities to create public awareness on the values of mutual trust, tolerance, confidence building, negotiation, mediation, dialogue, reconciliation with emphasis on indigenous mechanisms for peace building.

Mr Pontius Pilate Baba Apaabey, a representative of the Justice and Peace Commission of the Catholic Church in the Wega Deanary, and resource person at the meeting, took stakeholders through monitoring and reporting threats and vulnerabilities to violent extremism.

He sensitised them on ways to detect youth radicalisation, signs of recruitment, mediation and local conflicts resolutions.

Mr Apaabey, a former Upper East Regional Director of the NCCE, said if members of the public embraced and collectively pursued, monitored, reported and detect youth radicalisation, it would foster peaceful coexistence, strengthen their democratic governance and peaceful election process.

Mr Mohammed Sherifdeen Alhassan, the Municipal Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), emphasized the need for the public, especially those who are 18 years, to take part in the ongoing Limited Voter Registration exercise and all other activities the Commission would undertake in subsequent months.

He said with the full cooperation of all stakeholders, the EC would be able to compile a credible voter’s register.

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