The youth of Sege in the Ada West District of the Greater Accra Region have pledged their commitment to being peace ambassadors to intensify public education against violent extremism and terrorism, secessionist movements in their communities.

A programme, organised by the NCCE with support from the Ministry of National Security themed: “Empowering Ghanaians to Stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation” engaged citizens in Ada is part of efforts to stem the tide of violent extremism, terrorism, and secessionist movement in the country.

Besides sensitising and equipping the youth with basic knowledge on the Public Order Act, the resource persons took the youth through the Vigilante and Related Offences Act, the National Framework for Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Ghana, grievance handling procedures through Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms, and orientation on Patriotism and Nationalism as important elements of building national cohesion.

The youth, drawn from Churches, Mosques, Political Parties, and Youth Clubs in the Ada West District pledged to reject violent extremist groups. The youth also pledged to reject being recruited by violent extremists or secessionists to perpetrate violent acts or execute terrorist ideologies.

DSP Andrews Kordzo Mifete, the Ada East District Police Commander, commenting on the Public Order Act 1994 (Act 491), stated that the law requires that any person who desires to hold any public event including demonstration shall formally notify the police of their intention five days before the event, date, route, time among others.

On violence extremism, DSP Mifete noted that extremism and terrorism are twin security threats facing some neighbouring countries; saying these threats include tribal conflict, porous borders, weak state institutions, widespread corruption, poverty, and mass unemployment, the spread of small arms and light weapons.

He said security is a shared responsibility between the security agencies and the citizenry and urged the youth to be vigilant and report any suspicious characters. “Report crime by calling 191, 18555 in the event you find suspicious characters in your community” he stressed.

Chief Inspector Francis Aquaye, Station Officer of Sege Police Station, reassured the youth that the police were on the grounds and urged them not to hesitate to liaise with the Police to improve security in the area.

Mrs. Lucille Hewlett-Annan, NCCE Greater Accra Regional Director, speaking on National Cohesion urged the youth to embrace tenets that enhance national cohesion and inclusiveness, and resist secessionists' attempt to lure them. “Ghana is a unitary state and the 1992 Constitution is the supreme law of the land, which enjoins us as Ghanaians to live peacefully with one another” she stated. The Regional Director encouraged participants to practice patriotism and nationalism; saying they are important elements for the safeguarding of our national cohesion and stability.

In a remark, Mrs. Joyce Afutu, NCCE Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, urged the youth to put Ghana first in whatever they did. She added that the Commission’s post-workshop activities would include dawn to dusk broadcasts, cinema van film shows, media, and community engagements. She entreated the participants to share what they have learned with their groups.

Likewise, Mr. Philemon Boni, NCCE Ada West District Director, observed that the consequences of violent extremism include national insecurity that could hamper development and urged the youth to be vigilant.

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