Participants at the Kadjebi District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education’s (NCCE) town hall meeting at Kadjebi, have unanimously endorsed the Commission’s peace and national cohesion campaign drive.
They described the campaign as good and timely, but would be meaningless if there was no justice and fairness.
They said the bloody happenings at Ayawaso West Wuogon, Techiman North, Ejura, among others would not bring peace and national cohesion in Ghana if victims were denied justice.
They, thus, tasked the Commission to intensify the campaign targeting politicians and youth to avoid violent acts that were likely to disturb the peace of the country.
Mr. Daniel Agbesi-Latsu, the Kadjebi District Director of the NCCE, said the Commission had observed that that was why it had organised Youth Activists’ Workshops; adding that his directorate was currently engaging identifiable groups and school children, especially, the Civic Education Club members with the peace and cohesion message for easy propagation.
He said national cohesion and peaceful co-existence were cornerstones to national development.
Mr. Agbesi-Latsu said tolerance, fairness, respect for each other’s fundamental human rights, respect for the rule of law; among others were factors that ensured peaceful co-existence in our homes, schools, institutions, communities and the nation as a whole.
He said peace does not mean an absence of conflicts since differences would always be there, but we should resolve it through dialogue, education, knowledge and through humane ways.
Rev. Vincent Darkpo, Chairman, Kadjebi District Council of Churches, admonished Ghanaians to accept divergent views no matter the situation as peace and cohesion did not come by chance, but by choice.
He said national cohesion was strongest when everyone in the country had the opportunity, the resources and the motivation to participate in society as fully as they wished and on an equal basis with others.
Rev.Darkpo, who delivered a paper on “National cohesion and peaceful co-existence as important aspects of national development”, said violent extremism, terrorism, reports of armed robberies, kidnapping, ritual murders and violent activities currently happening in the country were a worried to the good citizens of Ghana.
Quoting 1 Peter 3: 11, he advised “they must turn away from evil and do good; they must strive for peace with all their heart”.
He mentioned ethics, politics, weak respect for the rule of law, culture of greed and selfishness as some of the challenges to national cohesion, which must be avoided if the nation wanted to progress.
Rev. Darkpo, who is also the Head Pastor of the Kadjebi branch of the Deeper Life Bible Church, also spoke on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms.
He said conflicts were bound to happen since we were different with different training backgrounds but the way we handle it is most important.
Rev. Darkpo named conflict analysis, that is, parties seek to gain deeper in their relationship as the first step in resolving conflict.
He mentioned power mode, accommodation, avoidance, dialogue, negotiation, mediation, arbitration, among others as some of the techniques in handling conflicts.
Mr. Ezekiel Awidi, an Assistant Civic Education Officer (ACEO) of the NCCE Oti Regional Office, urged the citizenry to avoid violence as it led to disunity, underdevelopment and retrogression.
Mr. Awidi called on the participants to participate in the decision-making processes at all levels and contribute as well.
He said they needed to avoid apathy towards their communities’ development but rather contribute towards it since the government could do everything for them.
Dasebre Oduro Guranim I, the Paramount Chief of Dodo Traditional Area, called on the populace to help NCCE deliver on its constitutional mandate.
He said civic education was a shared responsibility which must be carried out on a daily basis.
Dasebre Guranim I, who chaired the function, said he would assist the Commission to educate the citizenry, be it market square, church or village arena on their rights and responsibilities.
The NCCE with support from the Ministry of National Security is embarking on a series of community sensitisation activities across the country under the theme: “Empowering Ghanaians to Stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation.”
The campaign broadly seeks to promote national cohesion and peaceful co-existence, especially in the parts of the country where peace and security are being threatened.