Chieftaincy disputes, threat to security, governance

Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior

Mr Ambrose Dery, Minister for the Interior

The  prolonged  and unresolved  chieftaincy conflicts  in most parts of the  country  pose  a major security and governance challenge in the country, the   Executive  Director of  West  Africa Centre  for  Counter  Extremisim (WACCE) ,  Mr Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar  has  said.

Currently, Mr Muqthar, said, there were more than 352 unresolved chieftaincy conflicts nationwide, adding that chieftaincy and ethnic conflicts had claimed about 12,700 lives.

He said this yesterday at the opening ceremony of a two-day capacity building workshop aimed at preventing and countering violent extremism in Ghana.

The workshop brought together about 100 youth drawn from various communities and towns across the country to strengthen their capacities and serve as effective peace ambassadors to build a resilient youth front for sustainable peace.

He said chieftaincy and ethnic violence remained the single most pervasive source of insecurity and fatality for which many people were still bleeding from violence which could have been prevented.

He indicated that the dangerous nature of vigilante violence, the fierce political campaigns and unwarranted religious violence also had the tendency to create an enduring culture of violence with the penchant to serve as conveyor to terrorist recruitment.

Mr Muqthar said, in the last three years, WACCE had succeeded in working with various local communities to dissuade more than 22 individuals from sliding into violent extremism.

“In 2016, through our local community counter radicalisation programme, we worked hard to stop a young man, 21, from joining ISIS just a day before he was scheduled to depart to Syria,” he added.

He said, the workshop would help empower the participants to serve as leading voices for the amplification of narratives that were supportive of peace and social cohesion.

He called on all stakeholders including government, the National Peace Council, Ministry of Interior, Ministries of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Inner Cities and Zongo Development, religious and traditional leaders to take the vulnerabilities for violence more serious.

The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, in a speech read on his behalf said, without security there would not be a conducive environment for national development, adding that security underpinned sustainable development in every country.

“It is due to this that the President has elevated security to the front burner in national affairs and this is commendable and appreciated,” he stated.

He said to be able to counter emerging security threats; the Ghana Police Service had established new units and departments, such as the cybercrime unit, intelligence unit and counter –terrorism unit.

Mr Dery said security was a shared responsibility for individuals, groups, communities, corporate bodies and civil societies and called on the citizenry to ensure that terrorism, extremism and insurgency did not take root in Ghana.

BY JEMIMA ESINAM KUATSINU

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