As part of efforts to prevent violent extremism and acts of terrorism in Ghana, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has organised sensitisation programmes in some communities in the Jaman North District of the Bono Region.
The outreach campaign dubbed: 'Prevention and Containing Violent Extremism in the Five Northern Regions and three regions that share borders with the northern part of Ghana' aimed at sensitising and educating the people on some triggers of violent extremism and acts of terrorism and finding ways to prevent them.
The Commission identified chieftaincy disputes, ethnic conflicts, political polarisation, human rights abuses and social marginalisation, as well as poverty, unemployment and religious intolerance as some of the triggers for violent extremism and terrorism.
The sensitization programmes were held in market centres, lorry stations, schools and mosques at Sampa and Kabile Market in the Jaman North District.
The NCCE took the outreach campaigns to St. Ann's Girls Senior High School, Sumaman Senior High School in Suma, Ghana Tailoring and Dressmakers Association, GPRTU lorry station and Central Mosque in Sampa respectively.
The programme is ongoing in the five northern regions and three regions that share borders with the northern parts of Ghana, with support from the European Union.
Speaking at the various sensitisation events, Mr Oscar Kwabena Donkor, the NCCE District Director for Jaman North, said the recent threats and occurrences of violent extremism and acts of terrorism in some neighbouring countries were a serious concern to Ghana's peace and security.
He noted that such threats posed a great danger to the survival of the country's fledgling democracy, saying; 'Allowing violent extremism to fester will undermine the peace and safety in our communities'.
Mr Donkor, therefore, appealed to the people to eschew any acts of bickering and mudslinging, and rather comply with societal laid down structures for resolving conflicts and misunderstanding.
Mr Donkor also urged the people to comply with the provisions of Article 35 (5) of the 1992 Constitution and underscored the need for them to work together to fight against violent extremism and terrorism.
'Peaceful co-existence and inter-faith tolerance must be prioritised by all and sundry to help us fight against violent extremists and terrorist groups,' he urged.
Mr Daniel Okrah, the NCCE Programmes Officer for Jaman North, on his part, charged the participants to be extra vigilant in their respective communities and prioritise their safety and security, noting that no one could be more responsible for their safety and security than themselves.
Mr Okrah urged them to dialogue with persons they may have misunderstanding with and respect their rights, freedoms and legitimate interest, and refrain from any acts that could be detrimental to the welfare of others.
'You should be security conscious and volunteer information on security concerns to your chiefs, community elders, assembly members, pastors, imams and security agencies,' Mr Okrah admonished them.
He also entreated them to actively participate in the upcoming district-level elections and support the youth, women and persons with disability to contest for various positions in the local government structure.
The chiefs and opinion leaders in the beneficiary communities expressed their gratitude to the Commission for reaching out to them with very insightful tips on violent extremism and acts of terrorism.
Source: Ghana News Agency