State must bold and firm to deal with leaders who make reckless comments - Youth groups

Participants at a town hall meeting on secessionist movement, national cohesion, and inclusive participation in governance have urged the security agencies to be bold and firm to deal with leaders who make reckless statements that had the tendencies of fueling violent extremism in the country.

The participants, made up of youth groups in the KEEA municipality noted with concerns the swift response from the security agencies in dealing with ordinary Ghanaians when they made statements that were deemed divisive and promoted violence but leaders who did the same were shielded and, in most cases, defended.

The town hall meeting which was organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from the Ministry of National Security kicked start with a film show that depicted negative implications of war and violence which touched the heart of the participating youth with some shedding tears.

It aimed at halting secessionist agitations, violent extremism, and engendering national cohesion and peaceful coexistence in Ghana.

Topics discussed included National Cohesion and Peaceful coexistence as an important aspect of national development, the Public Order Act, Vigilantism and Related Offenses Act, Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms and National Security Strategy, and the National Framework for countering violent extremism and terrorism in Ghana with emphasis on preventing violent extremism.

“Our institutions must be up and doing. They must be bold to arrest and prosecute leaders who make reckless statements because their utterances can plunge the country into tribal war. But your focus is always on the youth”, they stated.

According to the youth, their major problem was unemployment, and called on the leaders of the country to provide them with sustainable jobs.

The youth identified some of the causes of violent extremism to include inequality, poor governance, youth unemployment, and corruption.

They therefore stressed that there should be a good citizenship, transparency from leaders, eradication corruption, including the youth in decision making and ensure that every citizen pays their tax for the desired development.

Responding to the concerns by the youth, Alhaji Aliyu Mohammed, the Deputy Director of the NCCE encouraged Ghanaians not to support and defend leaders who made reckless comments, saying they must rather be bold to speak truth to power when they go wrong.

He charged the youth to use the appropriate means to seek redress saying “the democracy that we are practicing is all about laws, so you may have a good concern but make sure it does not go against the law.”

He underscored the importance of the town hall engagement and said Ghana ought to prepare adequately considering the recent threats of terrorists’ attacks in neighbouring countries, stressing the need to create the necessary awareness.

According to the NCCE Director, peace was a priceless element of life that needed to be guarded.

He encouraged Ghanaians to be on alert lookout for suspicious activities and do further interrogations before renting out their facilities to especially foreigners.

Very Reverend Papa Yankson, Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church in Komenda who chaired the event blamed the recent increase in social vices on “a system failure”

He expressed worry about how the country had become too abusive and with the youth disrespecting leaders and the elderly.

“We must guard against comments that would bring division in the country, serve the national interest rather than party and tribal interest. Must be an agent of peace”, he stated

He expressed worry about how the country had become too abusive and with the youth disrespecting leaders and the elderly.

Source: modernghana (

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