Work to protect nation’s peace - NCCE urges citizens
The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Kathleen Addy, has urged citizens to value the peace and security in the country and work towards protecting it.
She said in spite of the prevailing economic hardships and other challenges faced by the citizenry “if we do not have the needed peaceful co-existence, obviously the hope for a better future for us would be lost”.
The chairperson said the economic difficulties were having negative impact on communities, and “young people continue to get frustrated because job opportunities are hard to come by”.
Ms Addy was speaking during a dialogue on preventing and containing violent extremism (PCVE) action in Bolgatanga in the Upper East Region.
The well-attended event was graced by traditional rulers, civil society organisations (CSOs), representatives of political parties, members of the clergy, students, youth groups, among others.
It was on the theme: “ Preventing radicalisation of the youth in the wake of coup d’etats in the sub-region: Perspectives from stakeholders”.
The event was interspersed with a sketch by students of the Bolgatanga Girls SHS (BOGISS) highlighting activities of violent extremists.
The event was organised by the NCCE with sponsorship from the EU. It was the second of the dialogue series in the northern regions.
The chairperson further said that the nation found itself in an unstable West African sub-region with coup d’etats and insurrections occurring in some neighbouring countries, coupled with activities of violent extremists.
“As a nation, we have to do things right to ensure that such activities do not happen in the country; we must take preventive and containment measures to stop activities that could lead to instability.
“Although the country has not experienced civil war in its history, we have to do everything possible to avoid violent extremist attacks to safeguard the stability of the country,” she said.
Ms Addy also urged citizens to hold duty bearers accountable by being active participants in the day to day governance of the country, adding “we elect leaders and pay taxes and, therefore, we ought to hold them accountable in the administration of this country”.
She said ensuring accountability was the only way to sustain the country’s democratic dispensation and that “each citizen has a role to play towards the growth of the country”.
The chairperson also encouraged citizens to take interest in the upcoming district-level election.
During a panel discussion, the Upper East Regional Commander of the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), Emmanuel Owusu, said high levels of youth unemployment was a national security issue, and therefore, needed to be addressed.
He said due to the situation, the youth could become susceptible to the influence of violent extremists who could recruit them to foment trouble in the country.
For her part, a member of the Upper East Regional Peace Council, Priscilla Nyaaba, expressed concern about the increasing violence among students in senior high schools in the region and called on school authorities to be proactive to prevent such disturbances.
The Team Lead, COGINTA-Ghana, an NGO, Rev Fr. Clement Aapengnuo, underscored the need for the elderly to pay particular attention to the development of youth in their respective communities and guide them to realise their aspirations.