As part of the preventive measure to respond to the possible spillover of terrorists, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has held a National Dialogue with the relevant stakeholders in the fight against Violent Extremism and Terrorism (VET).
The discussion centered on specific measures needed to prevent, contain, and fight violent extremism in the West Africa sub-region, and Ghana in particular.
The dialogue is the first in a series under the European Union-sponsored project – Preventing and Containing Violent Extremist (PCVE) Action in the Northern Regions of Ghana.
Addressing the participants in an opening remark, the Chairperson for the NCCE, Kathleen Addy, said the project was an 18-month long intervention by the NCCE.
She added that the project would promote social coordination, peace and tolerance in the five northern regions – Upper West, Upper East, Savannah, North East – and two other regions in the country.
She continued that her outfit, as usual, would take a baseline survey for this intervention to enable know the deployments for the project. This, she said, was because this intervention goes beyond just giving information, “it is about letting people understand the nature of the threats. and how to identify them.”
She gave the assurance that by the end of March, they would launch the baseline survey to enable the executives achieve good results.
According to the Deputy Program Head at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre, Afua Lamptey, the government needed to continue to do its best to protect the youth against violent extremism.
To her, the youth get these arms to protect themselves, properties, and families, since they believed the state was not able to protect them.
“Some of the reasons why people get these arms is to protect themselves, protect the properties and their families, and so if the state is seen as not being able to protect them, then they have the recourse to these arms,” she said.
Madam Afua Lamptey further added that there was the need to give the youth opportunities to enable them get livelihood support, so that they cannot be lured into violent extremist activities.
She continued that there had been an exponential rise in the small arms and weapons circulations in the northern sector of the country, and as such it is very crucial that “we put in double our efforts to ensure that we regulate these weapons of mass destruction.”
She emphasised that the government amnesty was very important to let people who had these arms go for it to be registered, and some also destroyed.
To her, it was very important that people know the destructive effects of these weapons, so they should make it an attitude to regulate it if they had one in their possession.
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