The National Commission for Civic Education(NCCE) in the West Gonja municipality on Thursday 6th July, 2023 held an engagement with youth groups against Violence and radicalization which has become a major menace to the global community.
Despite the fact that anyone can become an extremist, young people who are in a quest of a sense of identity, purpose, or belonging may be more susceptible to be recruited into violent extremist groups.
Various things, including religious convictions, political ideologies, and prejudices against specific ethnic groups, might serve as its drivers.
According to Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, the west Gonja Municipal Director of the NCCE, the commission conducted a study in 2021 under NORPREVSEC project identified the youth as most vulnerable to Violent Extremism and as such, the Commission is undertaking engagements with youth groups as part of planned activities under the European Union (EU) Supported PCVE project on non-violence and radicalisation in 75 operational districts of the project including West Gonja.
Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim explained that the main objective of the PCVE, which is to Prevent and Contain Violent Extremism is the Promotion of Social Cohesion, Peace and Tolerance in the five (5) northern regions and other hotspots in Ghana.
He added that, the engagement with the youth groups is aimed at ensuring that the youth understands the negative consequences of joining violent extremists groups and appreciate the legal framework that bars the activities of violent extremist and terrorist groups.
He also stated that the engagement with the youth groups will further seek to augment their understanding in the following area: peace building mechanisms, Social cohesion, community-based mechanisms for countering violent extremism e.g. Identifying early warning signals, community surveillance etc and basic community-based strategies for countering arms proliferation.
The Deputy Divisional Police Commander for Damongo, ASP Charles Aniagyei in a presentation outlined some security measures that has been put in place by the Ghana police service to overcome situations concerning violent extremism in the country.
He explained that Violent extremism is fast spreading across the sub region and posing a huge challenge to Ghana and it’s neighbouring countries and therefore admonished that Violent actions should not be the only ways to expressing anger towards a particular group.
He used the event to cautioned parents to have listening ears for their children and talk to them about their interest and motivate them through rewards for their excellence.
Also in a presentation on peace building mechanisms and National Cohesion, Rev. Pastor Samuel Mahama Denkeri on behalf of the local council of churches ( clergy) noted that the emerging threats of violent extremism in Ghana has heightened the need for a strategic and contextual approach to preventing violent extremism, taking into cognizance the fact that Violent Extremism has become not just a national threat but a global one.
He further explained that the consequences of violence extremism undermines peace and security, human rights and sustainable development, adding that no country or region is immune from its impacts.
The essence of the engagement by the NCCE is to tap into the energies of the youth and use it positively to promote peaceful coexistence and shun violent extremism in Ghana.
The regional NCCE director, Mr. Issaka Zitor was also in attendance to grace the programme.