padfm.com.gh / May 5, 2021 / By Zulka
Mr Issaka Zito, the Savannah regional Director for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has called on Ghanaians to remain discipline to keep the nation safe from terrorist groups.
Zito Issaka made this call during an engagement with the Ghana National Fire Service staff to mark this year’s Annual Constitution Week at Damongo on Tuesday May 4, 2021.
The Annual Constitution week celebration is one of the flagship programs of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE). The week was instituted to commemorate the country’s return to constitutional democratic rule.
Ghanaians voted massively on 28th April, 1992, in a referendum to adopt the draft of the fourth (4th) Republican constitution which came to effect on 7th January, 1993.
Since the year 2001 when the first Constitutional Week Celebration was implemented, it has always taken the form of engagement with various sectors of the population such as Civil Society Groups, Communities, Professional groups and the security agencies.
The 2021 theme for the annual celebration is ” We are one, Ghana First “, with a sub team ‘ unity and national cohesion: the role of the security services ‘.
Specifically, this year’s celebration aims at encouraging discipline to keep the nation safe from terrorist groups.
Addressing participants at the GNFS premises at Damongo, Zito Issaka said development takes place when there is peace and unity, but violence sets the clock of progress backward and thereby destroys both lives and properties. As a result, Ghanaians must remain discipline to keep the nation safe from terrorists.
He said the NCCE’s Constitutional Week Celebration is done with the aim of enhancing equality citizenship amongst the people for effective democratic participation, promoting the spirit of oneness and patriotism into the citizens, sensitizing people on the need for national unity and peace, allow inclusive participation in the security services, give individuals and groups the opportunity to identify their roles and map out strategies to fight the threats of vigilantism, fundamental human rights and secessionist tendencies, among other important objectives.
Zito Issaka however, stated that some acts are threats to national cohesion and peace. Acts such as the use of political vigilantes to attain political power or office, religious fundamentalist who do not respect the rights of of others, little education on religious tolerance can lead to disturbance.
Other threats on the sovereignty and national unity is the secessionist movement from the Western Togoland crusaders whose activities were recently noted in the Volta region along the Eastern borders of the country.
Furthermore, ethnocentrism is one other threat to national unity. Each Ghanaian is born into an ethnic community and takes pride in the rich history and cultural practices of the ethnic group. These ethnic groups must live in harmony to promote national unity. Anything short of this, is a threat to national unity.
Zito Issaka said ” the framers of the 1992 constitution are aware that ethnicity can render a state ungovernable, and therefore made conscious efforts to play down it’s effects through injunctions per some articles and clauses of the constitution regarding the formation of political parties “. Article 55(4) of the constitution states that ” every political party shall have a national character, and membership shall not be based on ethnic, religious, or sectional connotation or gives the appearance that it’s activities are confined only to a party of Ghana”.
On the role of security services in the country, Zito Issaka explained that the security services’ role in eliminating the threat is well defined by the constitution and other statutes of state. The role of maintaining Law and Order remains the traditional function of the Ghana Police Service, (Article 200(3)) 1992 constitution. That is, the maintenance of the internal security of the state remains the preserve of the Ghana Police Service.
The intrusion of external terrorist which threatens the security and the sovereignty of Ghana for that matter requires the Ghana Armed Forces to rise and defend the country against external aggression.
Border security services such as Ghana Immigration Service would be needed to complement the efforts of the Ghana Police Service in ensuring a peaceful and a united country. Most importantly, all security services are to share intelligence so that groups whose activities undermine our cherished national unity are found out. The vigilance of the security service is to further discourage people from getting recruited into the terrorist and secessionist groups, he added.
” Our hardworking security services should up their game to win the trust of the Ghanaian citizenry and to enable them give information that can lead to arrest of potential criminals or terrorist without any victimization “, he appealed.
The Savannah regional Commander of the Ghana National Fire Service, Kwesi Baffour Awuah (ACFO) in a welcome address expressed gratitude to the NCCE and other stakeholders for their role in the sensitization of the people.
He explained that the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) is one of the agencies under the Ministry of the Interior. The Service was re-established by an Act of Parliament in 1997, Ghana National Fire Service Act, 1997, Act 537.
The objective of the Service is to prevent and manage undesired fire.
The major programme and project assigned to the Service is Fire Management, Rescue and Extrication services
He said the GNFS is also complementing other security services to help maintain peace and security in the country. The GNFS reports any security threat in society and could also cause arrest and hand actors to the police for further action.
Under the strategic objectives of the mother ministry, the Ghana National Fire Service is required to provide adequate protection of life and property and sensitize and provide technical assistance and advice to schools, markets, MMDAs, lorry parks and other institutions nationwide on fire safety measures. .
The Fire Service also organizes public education programmes to create and sustain awareness of hazards of fire and heighten the role of the individual in the prevention of fire.
The service also train and organize fire volunteer squads at community level, offer rescue and evacuation services to those trapped by fire or in other emergency situations and undertake any other function incidental to the objective of the service.
He appealed to the citizenry to help volunteer information about acts that could lead to national security unrest to the various security agencies.
padfm.com.gh / Abdulai Zulkaninu