Kumbungu (N/R), Sept 22, GNA-The youth in the Kumbungu District have been advised to be ambassadors of peace by contributing to making their communities safe and guard against threats of violent extremism.
Dr Imrana Mohammed, Acting Director of Programmes, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), who gave the advice, also urged the youth to be vigilant to track suspicious elements in the area and report them to the security agencies for action to be taken against them.
Dr Mohammed was speaking at a forum at Kumbungu on violent extremism organised by the Kumbungu District Directorate of NCCE as part of the Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana project, funded by the European Union to as part of the assignment counter violent extremism in the country.
Representatives of youth groups, women groups, political parties, assembly members, persons with disability, Heads of Department amongst other stakeholders in the district attended the forum.
It was aimed at equipping participants especially the youth with the relevant information on violent extremism and radicalism to guard against being recruited to perpetuate violence.
Dr Mohammed said violent acts such as armed robbery and kidnappings recorded in parts of the country coupled with terrorist attacks in neighbouring countries meant that the youth, especially must be on high alert in their communities to prevent extremist acts.
Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mr Emmanuel Horlortu, Northern Regional Director of the Domestic Violence and Victim Support Unit of the Ghana Police Service, who made a presentation on violent extremism, expressed need for the citizenry to take their personal safety seriously.
DSP Mr Horlortu said the law enforcement agencies would do their part to ensure safety of society, however, there was need for all “To be conscious about your safety. Let your relatives know about your whereabouts so that you can be traced in case of anything.”
He called for tolerance amongst communities and expressed need for collaboration between communities and the security agencies to ensure law and order.
Reverend Fr Thaddeus Kuusah, Coordinator of Governance, Justice and Peace at the Tamale Archdiocese of the Catholic Church, who made a presentation on peacebuilding mechanisms, called for continued dialogue between aggrieved parties to resolve their grievances to ensure peace to prevail in society.
He also expressed the need for repair of relationships that were hurt by conflicts and reform of institutions to help build lives that had been hurt to promote peaceful coexistence.
Alhaji Abdul Razak Saani, Northern Regional Director of NCCE, called on community members to make conscious efforts to know their neighbourhood and its inhabitants well such that they would be in position to identify unusual movements that needed to be reported to the law enforcement agencies.
Alhaji Saani also urged the youth to value their lives so as not to fall for any inducement, saying “Let us not say that because there is no work, we should sell our conscience to extremist groups.”
Participants made commitment to undertake public sensitisation programmes, focus group discussions, be self-vigilant to identify suspicious characters, not to shield criminals and respect views of one another to make their communities safe.
Madam Janet Ameseya, Kumbungu District Director of NCCE urged participants, especially the youth to carry through their commitments to ensure the project was successful.