Pastor Michael Frempong, Head Pastor of the Dambai Junction Church of Pentecost, has urged the youth in the Krachi East Municipality to speak peace in their daily conversations.
He said it was important for them to live in peace with one another and tolerate varied opinions on issues to prevent misunderstandings.
Pastor Frempong made the call during a Youth Activist Workshop in the Municipality organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in partnership with the National Security Ministry.
It was on the theme: “Empowering Ghanaians to stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation”.
The Head Pastor who spoke on “National Cohesion and Peaceful Co-existence as an important aspect of National Development”, said the greatest gift God could ever bless a Nation with was peace and cohesion and urged the citizenry to do everything possible to protect it.
Reverend Patrick Yamenue, Chairman, Local Council of Churches advised leaders of the various groups to watch their utterances when addressing issues with their colleagues or opponents in order not to disturb the peace “we are enjoying as a Nation”.
Nana Afrim-Darko, Oti Regional National Security Coordinator said the manifestation of violent extremism and terrorism in West Africa and recently Burkina Faso was a wake-up call for all citizens to be security conscious.
He mentioned Boko Haram, Ansar Dine, Ansaral al-Sharia, AQIM, ISWAP, MUJAO, among other terrorist groups that “had vowed to extend their operations to the southern and coastal cities to increase their operational theatres and spheres.”
The Security Coordinator said youth unemployment, poverty, limited education and skills, unregulated cyber space, exposure to extremist and radical groups, and marginalisation or discrimination were some causes of extremism and radicalization, there were government plans to deal with the situations for the next five years.
Superintendent Samuel Aboagye, Krachi East Municipal Police Commander entreated the youth to notify the police in any of their public gathering for their own protection and accept counsel from the police regarding change of date or time of such public activities for their own safety.
He also enumerated some consequences the youth could face if they violated the provisions in the Public Order Act, I994 (Act, 491).
The Police Commander said “a person who takes part in an activity of a vigilante group armed with an offensive weapon commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a term of imprisonment of not less than 15 years and not more than 25 years.”
Mr Clement Kwesi Mamadu, Krachi East Municipal Director, NCCE, advised participants to share the knowledge gained at the workshop to their colleagues and urged them to report any security threat in their communities to the nearest police station or call police help lines.
Pastor David Mensah who chaired for workshop thanked the participants for their support and knowledge shared during the training and urged them to let justice prevail in their daily activities and engage in activities intended to bring and maintain peace.
The participants were drawn from the chiefs, political parties, Roman Catholic Church, artisans, Civic Education Clubs, youth groups, dressmakers, hairdressers, media, traders, boat owners and GPRTU.