Bury differences for peace, security of state – NCCE urges political leadership

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has urged political party leadership, agents and assigns to bury their differences and work together for peace and security of the state.

It called on the citizenry no matter their political, religious or tribal affiliation to be mindful of activities that had the potential to disturb the peaceful coexistence, harmony and cohesion of the country.

“Activities of extremist groups in West African countries, including Nigeria, Burkina Faso, Mali and Togo, among others, are negatively affecting progress, growth and development in those countries and can spill over into Ghana,” the Commission warned.

Abass Yussif, the Krachi-Nchumuru District Director of NCCE, made the call at an Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) meeting at Chinderi in the Oti Region with support and assistance from the Ministry of National Security to raise awareness about the impact of secessionists, vigilantes and other extremist groups’ activities on the security of the nation which was on the theme: ‘Empowering Ghanaians to stand up for national cohesion and inclusive participation’.

He appealed to citizens to preserve the peace, unity and inclusive participation considering increasing crime, especially armed robbery and cybercrime to play watchdog role in communities and other places to ensure criminals from other countries did not extend their activities into the country.

Mr Yusif cautioned the youth not to fall prey to such groups which promised them non-existent jobs and financial packages.

Reverend Father Dr Norbert Okoledah, the Chairman of IPDC, who spoke on ‘National Cohesion and Peaceful Coexistence’, challenged political parties and other stakeholders to work to maintain the peace, security and cohesion as noted globally as one of the peaceful countries in the world.

“When there is peace, unity and inclusiveness the citizenry go about their normal business without any fear and panic and politicians should extend hand of employment to people from other political parties with expertise and not only those who support and assist the party in power.

“Leaders of political parties must caution their members and supporters, especially the youth against being used to foment trouble for one political party or another since the
parties recruit the youth into vigilante groups to foment trouble,” Rev Fr Okoledah advised and cautioned them against such acts as they could be punished under the vigilante law.

Robert Boame, the Oti Regional Director of NCCE, admonished leaders of political parties not to impose their ideologies on others as every citizen had right to join political party of their choice and indicated that the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (Act 999) came into existence to disband political vigilante groups and proffered charges against offenders.

He explained that penalty for involvement in activities of vigilante groups was ban on holding public position or position in political party and their leaders should use IPDC forum to dialogue on political and other disagreements.

“The citizenry should turn to use of Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms like family heads, chiefs, leaders of Faith-Based Organisations and security taskforces, rather than resorting to court system which was cumbersome. -GNA

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