Reverend Dr Nicholas Darko, a former Jasikan District Director of Education, has said national cohesion and peaceful coexistence was a recipe for national development and could be likened to the family unit.
He said the family was where the children, father and mother existed, able to sit together, understand each other and have a common focus, which would bring peace in their homes leading to development.
The former director said the nation must be seen as a family devoid of language barrier, ethnicity, religiosity, gender, where everybody was seen as a Ghanaian through understanding each other’s thinking and supporting them.
Dr Darko speaking at a Town hall meeting on national cohesion and inclusive participation organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) at Nkonya Ntsumuru in the Oti Region, said “we must see to it that there are no rivalries between languages, no issues like conflicts, and we are able to break barriers and discuss issues dispassionately as brothers and sisters just like families”.
He said since development thrived where there was peace, there must be a merging of ideas from different backgrounds to become unified in order to bring peace and development.
The former director noted that in order to bring up well-behaved children, there must be homes where parents had principles to bring up their children, adding that a home without principles was likely to bring up deviant children.
He called on parents to bring up their children in the fear of God and to also follow up on them, monitor their movements, their whereabouts and the friends they associated with.
“When you do that the child knows your eyes are on him or her and that will make the child develop along a certain line, which we all desire and that will reduce wayward and street children.”
Reverend Leonard Aglomasa, Biakoye District Director, NCCE, said the meeting was aimed at looking at activities that could bring chaotic situations in the district, region and country.
He said activities of secessionist movements and vigilante groups in Ghana and other countries could spark violent extremist activities and bring chaotic situations if not handled with caution.
“These acts, coupled with religious fundamentalism going on in the Sahel region, raised stakes against peace and national cohesion in Ghana.”
He said the Commission and the National Security Ministry were working together to discuss issues that would bring peace and harmony in the locality as well as bring national cohesion to enable all to live in peace and also become security conscious.
The director noted that differences in beliefs, ethnic background and languages spoken should not hinder their coexistence, adding that “Ghana is one, Oti is one” and we cannot afford to lose this unity.
Rev. Aglomasa called on the participants to report to the police when they found any suspicious activities happening in their communities.
He urged churches to train their ushers well to identify new people who visited their places of worship while chiefs and landlords get to know the people they give their rooms or other properties out on rent.
He said NCCE’s position on national cohesion and peaceful coexistence was that “we believe that Ghana is a unitary state and we are one. We are not divided.”
The participants during an open forum raised some concerns which they wanted the appropriate stakeholders to address.
They mentioned inadequate and lack of parental care as a problem, which needed to be addressed, they also wanted an even distribution of infrastructure and developmental programmes among all communities within the traditional area.
Other concerns were the call on the Biakoye District Assembly to design development initiatives and programmes that would engage the youth in the district and they also called on law enforcers to give citizens equal access to justice irrespective of their statuses.
DSP Essilfie-Donkoh David, Biakoye District Commander of Police, urged the participants to be law abiding, security conscious and refrain from violent extremism activities.
Nanai Ampem Darkoh III, Acting President, Nkonya Traditional Council, thanked the participants for the engagements towards promoting peaceful coexistence and national cohesion.
He urged the NCCE to frequently organise such programmes to engage the youth for them to discuss their issues. GNA