Activities of terrorists and violent extremists are threats to sustainable national development and undermines international peace and security, Ms Dorcas Atia, the Talensi District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has said.
She therefore urged all stakeholders to work together to identify signals of such threats and respond appropriately to prevent their occurrence in Ghana.
“They divide communities, intensify conflicts and destabilize the entire region, so as the threat from terrorism continues to evolve, we must adapt and learn lessons from what works and what does not work. Our response therefore must be as vigorous and versatile as the threat,” she said.
Ms Atia was addressing members of the Interparty Dialogue Committee (IPDC) at Tongo as part of efforts to prevent terrorism and violent extremism as well as electoral violence in northern Ghana.
It was sponsored by the European Union (EU) and brought together representatives of the various political parties, traditional and religious authorities and security agencies among other relevant stakeholders.
The District Director noted that the issues of violent extremism were grave and complex, and therefore demands flexibility, intelligence and openness to effectively address tension in communities and prevent its occurrence and preserve the prevailing peace and national cohesion.
The District Director explained that the activities of terrorism and violent extremism, which had become a global concern in the Sahel Regions could spill over to Ghana if collective efforts were not put in place to curb it.
Mr Joachim Elbazar, the Upper East Regional Head of Programmes, NCCE, noted that Ghana was at risk of terrorism as a result of the activities ongoing in neighbouring countries such as Mali, Burkina Faso and Niger among others.
He stated that the youth were mostly recruited by these terrorist groups to carry out their activities and urged members of the IPDC to help educate the youth to guard themselves against being recruited to foment trouble.
Mr Alex Asi, Inspector of Police at the Tongo Police Station, said unemployment, injustice, discrimination among others were factors that led to violence and called for measures to address development issues to improve upon the condition of Ghanaians.
He stated that the ‘winner takes all’ ideology practiced in the country had the potential to create tension in the future especially when one political party stays in power for long and starve the other parties.
The Police Officer further called for the inclusion of indigenous messages on peace into the curriculum of schools and added that the move would imbibe in the youth the Ghanaian cultural values which frowned on violence and activities of extremists.