The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Ministry of National Security have held an Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) meeting at Daboase in the Wassa East District of the Western Region to sensitize stakeholders to the need to promote national cohesion.
The event was organised on the theme: “Empowering Ghanaians to Stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation.”
Representatives from political parties, the Local Council of Churches, the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and Traditional Authorities attended the meeting.
Mr Andrew Acquah, Wassa East District Director for NCCE, said it was embarking on special activities to heighten the understanding and appreciation of the people on how to ensure national unity and cohesion for development.
He said peace and security was a shared responsibility, adding that the public must be security conscious at all times.
Mr Acquah said kidnapping, secessionist movement and vigilantism were foreign practices that threatened the country’s peace and security.
The Western Regional Director for NCCE, Mr Justice Ennin, who took participants through the Public Order Act, said the Act sought to give protection to participants of any outdoor programme such as demonstrations and political rallies.
Mr Ennin urged political parties and other interest groups to seek permission and approval from the police before embarking on outdoor activities.
On internal security threats, he said, unemployment, chieftaincy disputes, COVID-19 and conflicts remained the biggest challenges.
Mr Kobbina Dodoo, a retired Fire Station Officer, enlightened participants on Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 and explained that the Act applied to an act or threat of violence or intimidation undertaken by a person, or group of persons to further the interest of the person or any other person associated with a political party and landowner, among others.
He said persons found culpable under the law could face a jail term of between 15 and 25 years in hard labour.
Mr Dodoo urged political parties and other interest groups to stop sponsoring and harbouring such groups not to disturb the peace.