Ve Golokuati (V/R), Aug. 31, GNA – Reverend Father Isaac Benuyenah, Parish Priest of St. Augustine Catholic Church, Hohoe, has urged the youth of the Afadzato South District to tolerate divergent views in order to enhance national cohesion.
He said the country, which was made up of different ethnic groups required tolerance of the views of others and understanding them in order to prevent conflicts.
Rev. Fr Benuyenah speaking at Ve Golokuati during a Youth Activists Workshop organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and National Security for selected youth from the District, noted that for national cohesion to be achieved, there was the need for unity.
The Parish Priest said unity must begin from homes with families and called on parents to educate and instill positive behaviours in their children.
He noted that disunity, intolerance, and opposing views of one another retarded development and denied people of enjoying basic amenities of life including access to health and education.
Rev. Fr Benuyenah noted that there was the need for societies to do away with cultural practices that could not help their development.
He called on the National Media Commission (NMC) to sanction broadcast contents that were not geared towards progressing and developing the country.
Togbe Akoto VIII, Acting President of Ve Traditional Council, noted that the future of the nation was in the hands of the youth and was elated the youth in the District availed themselves for the workshop.
He noted that crimes were now at an alarming rate as compared to some years ago, adding that, such engagements would help to create the needed awareness and urged the participants to make sure their communities and groups benefitted from what they learned.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Alex Cosmos, Afadzato South District Commander, urged the youth to channel their grievances to the appropriate authority for them to be addressed and not take the laws into their own hands.
He said there was the need for aggrieved individuals to notify the police anytime they planned demonstrations by articulating specific contents such as date, time, routes, and place of the demonstration.
The District Commander noted that although demonstrators notified the police about their intended plans, factors such as choosing a date which would be a day for an important national event could lead to a reschedule of the intended plan.
He said any form of damage caused by demonstrators or unwarranted behaviour exhibited while demonstrating could possibly lead to the arrest of leaders and others culpable, adding that the police were however mandated to provide security for the safety of demonstrators.
ASP Cosmos also said aside from settling cases or disputes in the law court, aggrieved parties could use the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism which included mediation, arbitration, dialogue, reconciliation, and negation in the interest of peace.
Mrs Ellen A. Amankwa, NCCE Director, Afadzato South District, noted that the Commission would continue to engage citizenry on issues of national concerns as and when the need arises.
She urged the participants to be empowered to stand for national cohesion and inclusive participation and also replicate what they benefitted from within their various communities.
Mr. Jeremiah James Ocloo, an Officer from the National Intelligence Bureau, noted that people got to the stage where they became violent when they begin to exhibit behaviours such as withdrawal from family and friends, become hostile, talk as if it was from a script, and unwilling to discuss their views with others.
He said identified groups such as vigilantes if not checked could lead the country into destruction, since they were likely to engage in violent extremism activities and could engage vulnerable people including the youth and marginalised groups.
Mr. Ocloo urged the participants to always be on the lookout for these signs among the fellow youth of their various communities and take the necessary action by reporting to appropriate authorities.
The workshop was themed: “Empowering Ghanaians to stand for national cohesion and inclusive participation.
Mr. Kenneth Kponor, Volta Regional Director, NCCE, commended the participants for engaging in the workshop and tasked them to make others from their various groups benefit from the workshop.
He noted that there was the need for a renewed sense of security consciousness and to always be alert to identify any changes around their environment and added that the Commission would engage communities in need for national cohesion and inclusive participation.
The participants in a communique after the workshop resolved to be community watchdogs in their various communities, report any form of violent activities, champion development, and called on the government to provide employment avenues for the youth in the District.