A one-day sensitization workshop on national cohesion and inclusive participation in governance for more than fifty (50) selected identifiable group members, Assembly Members, youth activists as well as some youth leaders in the Akatsi North District of the Volta Region, has ended at Ave Dakpa, the district capital.

The capacity-building workshop engagement was organized by the Akatsi North District Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from the Ministry of National Security under the theme,’ Empowering Ghanaians to Stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation’.

Studies have shown that the youth are often the perpetrators of secessionist, vigilantism and violent extremism. Most of them, however, come under the influence of other interest groups acting out of ignorance of the country’s various regulations and policies.

The Akatsi North District Director of the Commission, Mr. Seth Deenu said it is against this backdrop that the Youth activists’ activity was organized to among other things to sensitize the participants on the country’s various common and important laws and conventions. Some of these include the truth about the case of the Western Togoland as part and parcel of Ghana, the Public Order Act, the Vigilante and Related Offences Act, the National Security Strategy and the National Framework for Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Ghana.

The workshop was also aimed at taking the youth through grievance handling procedures as well as Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanisms in addition to orienting them on Patriotism and Nationalism as important elements of national cohesion.

The Youth Activists’ forum formed part of a broader nationwide sensitization programme being undertaken by the NCCE. The Commission is using key strategies such as youth activists’ workshops, the inter-party dialogue committees’ forum and other forms of community engagement techniques including Town Hall meetings with major stakeholders and identifiable groups to drum home its message. Other measures being employed under the project are dawn and dusk broadcasts as well as discussions on radio and television, cinema shows and social media fora.

The Volta Regional Director of the NCCE, Mr. Kenneth Kpornor, the Parish Priest of the St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Ave Dakpa, Rev. Fr. Stephen Avinu as well as the District National Security Co-ordinator, Mr. George Abizzy Baffour facilitated the workshop with a call on the participants not only to remain patriotic citizens of the country but also be non-violent to enable them participate effectively and efficiently in nation building activities.

Other Speakers at the workshop included the Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs of the NCCE, Mrs. Joyce Afutu, the District Chief Executive (DCE), Hon Dr. Prince Amuzu Sodoke, the Presiding Member (PM) of the Akatsi North District Assembly, Hon. Patrick Ahiabu as well as the District Co-ordinating Director (DCD), Mr. Cobblah Kenney.

The Regional Director of the NCCE, Mr. Kenneth Kponor reminded the participants that Ghana is much prone to violence because the country is surrounded by neighbours that are suffering from violent extremism. He, therefore, called on the youth to be vigilant and abstain from any activities that can jeopardize the country’s security.

Mrs. Joyce Afutu, Director of the Communication and Corporate Affairs Unit of the Commission, commended the staff of the NCCE in the region for the effort at reaching out to residents in their jurisdiction with the needed sensitization messages. She stressed the need for the participants to be patriotic, adding that they are the future leaders of the country.

She reminded the youth that the Constitution is supreme, adding that they should jealously guard and protect the land of Ghana that the forbearers fought for and shed their blood on for the present and future generations.

The DCE for the area, Dr. Prince Sodoke Amuzu lauded the presence of the participants and the enthusiasm shown in the forum, saying it would go a long way to correct some of the misconceptions regarding the Western Togoland and other issues bothering all the people in the region and those living along the Ghana-Togo boundaries from the south to the north.

He expressed concern about the negative attitude of the youth towards communal labour, describing it as an expression of indiscipline. He was glad that the clergy was part of the workshop so that they could continue to assist the youth to straighten up their moral character. He also called for closer collaboration between the youth and the traditional authorities in the area so as to achieve greater results for the district.


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