The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Akatsi South Municipality of the Volta Region has called on the youth to remain vigilant and stand for national cohesion as well as the need to have inclusive participation in governance.
Reverend Vincent Adzika, the Akatsi South Municipal Director of the NCCE, made the call during a youth activist’s workshop on secessionism and violent extremism, which was organised by the Commission in collaboration with the Ministry of National Security to engage the citizens, especially the youth.
It was on the theme: “Empowering Ghanaians to stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation in Governance.”
Reverend Adzika, in his opening remarks, said the issues of Western Togoland Restoration Front and threat of Violence Extremism along the country’s borders must be an issue of concern to all citizens, “and this is the reason for the collaboration between the NCCE and Ministry of National Security, to engage the citizens especially the youth to remain vigilant, which is necessary for National Cohesion”.
“The vigilance of citizens during this period is necessary for National Cohesion,” he added.
Mr Oral-Robert Amenyo, the Deputy Volta Regional Director of the NCCE, who witnessed the encounter, said when there was no national cohesion, the nation was opened up to external aggression.
He also revealed that activities of terrorists were more fruitful in a nation that was greatly divided on ethnic, religious and political lines.
“Terrorists always send scouts to look for loopholes to explore, when there is no national cohesion there is no peace and when there is no peace, there is no development and happiness.”
This, he said, called for educating members of the Ghanaian public on the importance of the 1992 Constitution being the cardinal objective of the Commission.
Reverend Fr. Stephen Avinu, Parish Priest, St. Anthony Catholic Church in Ave-Dakpa, said National Cohesion and Peaceful Co-existence were important aspects of National Development.
He said there was the need for all to have the spirit of love, one vision, focus, and love for one another, as well as living a life devoid of discrimination.
Reverend Fr. Avinu encouraged the public, particularly the youth, to ascribe to the principles of unity, national cohesion, and peaceful co-existence, as they guaranteed firmness for development.
He further said tolerance for each other was key, irrespective of one’s religious, ethnic and political affiliations and that, “violence would not be any proper response to solving grievances.”
“Resort to the negotiation desk whenever there are issues because peace is a value and universal duty,” he added.
Reverend Fr. Emmanuel Kpodo, a lawyer and the Cathedral administrator of Akatsi Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church, gave a general overview of vigilantism and its related offences Act, 2019 (Act 999), the Public Order Act, and other enactments.
He emphasised on the need to ascribe to the in-depth procedures as contained in the Public Order Act 1994 (Act 491) to create the essential opportunities for promoting mutual understanding before permission was granted for the organisation of any public events or demonstration for peaceful co-existence.
He explained that aggressive activities by secessionist groups tended to create insecurity in the country, destabilises good governance, limit movement, and many other negativities, which affected the effective and efficient functioning of both local and central government.
Reverend Kpodo encouraged participants to think about the need to abstain from engaging in unlawful actions that could compromise the country’s security.
He maintained that it must be of greatest concern to the organisers of any public events to guarantee that their participants conducted themselves within the dictates of the law to avoid any untoward consequences.
Mr Emmanuel Davies, the Akatsi District Magistrate, emphasised the need to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR), since it was one of the effective complaint procedures to get the required outcome.
George Abizy Baffour, Deputy Divisional Head, National Investigations Bureaux (NIB) Aflao, on his part, charged participants to report any unwarranted activity in society to the appropriate security agencies for swift action.
Leaders of some focused youth groups as well as other stakeholders in the Municipality were in attendance with the main objective of engaging the youth to halt secessionist agitations, violent extremism and to engender national cohesion and peaceful coexistence in Ghana.
Reverend FFK Tsagli, Chairman of Akatsi area of the Global Evangelical Church who chaired the event, thanked the organisers of the forum and expressed the believe that it would bring a conducive atmosphere for national unity and nation-building.