The National Youth Authority (NYA) has inaugurated the Upper East Regional Youth Parliament with an advice to the youth to eschew violence and work to restore peace in the region for sustainable development.
The young people were advised to use the platform to engage major stakeholders at Bawku, Doba and Kandiga, among other areas, to allow peace to prevail and cautioned them to desist from being used to perpetuate violence.
Mr Stephen Yakubu, the Upper East Regional Minister, who gave the advice, said chieftaincy and land disputes needed to be addressed for the successful implementation of government’s flagship programmes to ensure development.
“In fact, intolerance among the youth has been the bane of conflicts during chieftaincy and election periods. The essence of the youth parliament is to, therefore, instill in the youth the spirit of cooperation and non-aggression in pursuing any perceived injustice,” he added.
Mr Francis Takyi-Koranteng, the Upper East Regional Director, NYA, said the Authority had inaugurated similar parliaments in 10 out of the 15 districts in the region and efforts were being made to have those in the remaining districts inaugurated.
He said over the years the Authority had focused on developing the capacity of the youth and create the appropriate platforms to position them to take up local and national leadership roles with a sense of patriotism and nationalism.
Peace and security were essential for socioeconomic development and engaging the youth with diverse cultures would foster peace and development, he said.
“You will agree with me that because of their energetic nature, exuberance and curiosity, anything that has to do with violence, the youth are part of it.”
Chief Superintendent of Police, Dela Kwasi Dzansi, the Bolgatanga Divisional Police Commander, noted that most of the crimes committed in the region were perpetuated by the youth with ages ranging from 19 to 32.
He said although the police, in collaboration with the other security services, had worked to reduce the crime rate, the disturbances in Bawku, Doba and Kandiga remained a major security threat.
Robberies were reduced from 56 cases in the first quarter of 2021 to 32 in the first quarter of 2022.
He said instability, coupled with terrorists’ activities in the Sahel region, posed a threat to the nation and urged the young people to support the security services to educate their peers to embrace peace.