The Youth form the greater part of the country’s population, very active because they have a lot of energy. Politicians and other individuals with hidden motives use them a lot to push through their agendas that affect human lives and properties and hence the need to educate them to use their strength and energy to build mother Ghana rather than destroying her.
In this view, the Commission organized a day’s workshop for the youth of the Anloga District with the support from Ministry of National Security. The youth were drawn from various identifiable youth groups in the District, PWDs, Church Youths, Muslim Youth, Civic Education Clubs and Political Parties among others. This workshop was organized to empower Ghanaians to stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation.
Mad. Lina Bensah, the NCCE Municipal Director, Keta who deputized for the District Director urged the participants to do everything humanly possible to protect, preserved and cherished the peace that we are currently enjoying and also welcomed the participants, resource persons and members of the press to the workshop.
The Regional Team showed a film on violence entitled ‘Massacre in Mozambique’ and the lessons learnt from the film speaks volume. At the end the participants were emotionally down, majority shared tears and vowed never to let scenes from the film to happen in their beloved country Ghana.
DSP, Thomas Yaw Agbanyo took the participants through the following Grievances Handling Procedures:
- Public Order Act, 1994 (Act, 491)
- Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (Act, 999) and
- Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanism.
- He made it known to the participants that the law applies to everybody; political parties, political office holders, real estate developers and so on. The law says “A person shall not directly or indirectly form, organize, operate or promote the formation or activities of a vigilante group”. Any person found guilty would be imprisoned not less than 10 years and not more than 15 years. He advised the youth not to engage in any activities of such unlawful groups.
- The Police Commander also emphasized on the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanism as the fastest medium of settling dispute and misunderstanding in our communities and Ghana at large.
- He also advised the youth not take the laws in to their hands because an alleged person is deemed innocent until proven otherwise by a court of competent jurisdiction.
Presentation on National Cohesion and Peaceful Coexistence as Important Aspects of National Development.
Mr. Eric Quarmy Fiazorli, who is the Head Christian of St. Francis of Assisi Roman Catholic Church Anloga and Diocesan Youth Coordinator also took the participants through the topic. He called on the youth to avoid all forms of violence and be the ambassadors of peace in everywhere they find themselves. He entreated the participants to protect the peace we are currently enjoying at all cost. Mr. Fiazorli also mentioned a few things that can promote unity and national Cohesion:
- The boarding housing system currently run in Ghana will enable students from different ethnic and religious background to learn from one another hence promoting national unity.
- Encouraging inter-ethnic/ religious marriages through these marriages it is difficult for couples to hurt each other because they see themselves as one people with a common goal.
- Types of governance system, religious tolerance and sports also bring individual together hence national cohesion.
He also advised the participants to be wary of the causes of disintegration or disunity as follows:
- Unemployment or when the youth have not been engaged in any meaningful work.
- Mistrust of institutions when there is no equal justice.
- When there is suppression of rights and freedoms.
Mr. Fiazorli touched on the effects of absence of National Cohesion. Some of the points were external aggression, retarded development, undermines peace, instability, loss of foreign investment, destruction of life and properties.
Furthermore, he asked the participants to be security cautious and live in harmony with others regardless of what their differences maybe, they should remain in Ghana and make it a better place for all.
Presentation on National Security Strategy and the National Framework for Countering Violent Extremism and Terrorism in Ghana.
Mr. Mawuli Zanu, the National Intelligence Bureau Officer (NIB) explained the meaning of National Security as the survival, protection, safety, well-being and contentment of the people. Based on this explanation the participant were relieved from the tension the phrase “National Security” carries.
He also told the participants that in order to curtail National Security threats such as Terrorism and Extremism led to the formulation of the National Security Strategy in 2020.
Mr. Zanu also asked the participants to compare the actions of the secessionist group in the Volta Region known as Western Togoland Restoration Group to that of any other terrorist group in the world if that group (Western Togoland Restoration Group) should not be considered and accepted as a terrorist group in the country.
He further enlightened the Youth that, in achieving some of these aims to prevent violent extremism there should be:
- Community surveillance
- Neighborhood watch/ Community patrol
- Awareness creation at worship centers (churches, mosques, shrines)
- Detection of possible signs of radicalism.
He also advised the participants to report anything they have seen strange in their communities to the security agencies by saying “If you see something, say something”.
Fifty-Five (55) youth benefited from the workshop comprising Thirty-Six (36) males and Nineteen (19) females.
Group 1 picked the question: The Secessionist Phenomenon-Facts versus Fiction: The Case of Western Togoland.
Group 2 also picked the question: Negative effects of Secessionist/ extremist activities.
Responds given were:
- Destruction of lives and properties
- Instability in the country
- Opens nation for external aggression
- Makes nation unattractive for foreign investment
- Hunger and famine
- Outbreak of diseases
Group 3 picked the question: Threats to national cohesion and peaceful coexistence.
- Religious intolerance
- Chieftaincy dispute
- Land dispute
- Suppression of human rights and freedom
- Retards development
Group 4 picked the question: Factors that enhance nation building
- Active participation in governance
- Consensus building
- Using legal means to resolve conflicts eg ADR
- Adhering to democratic principles eg Rule of law
- Being loyal and patriotic
- Doing away with ethnocentrism.
Remarks by Deputy Volta Regional Director and the Chairman for the Occasion.
The Deputy Volta Regional Director, Mr. Oral Robert Amenyo and Hon. Joseph Kpatah, the Presiding Member of the Anloga District Assembly have all expressed their satisfaction about the active participation of the participants and urged them to be agent of peace in their endeavors. They also urged the youth to be security cautious and cooperate with the security agencies to enforce law and order in their various communities and mother Ghana.
The NCCE banner and Ministry of National Security Pull-up were displayed at the venue and regularly throughout the program, the Ministry of National Security has been acknowledged as the sponsor of the NCCE to undertake this programme.
- The participants comported themselves till the end of the workshop.
- The resources persons were readily available and they delivered on each topics very well.
- The scenes from the film glued the participants to their seats, which made them paid attention to the resource persons till the end.
- Some of the participants do not understand the film aired because it was not in their local language.
- For subsequent programmes or workshops the Commission should consider the language barrier of the people hence translate the films in their local languages.
- The materials that will be aired during the programmes or the workshops should be released in time for the organizers to view and have a fair ideal before airing it to the participants.
- More of such programmes or workshops should be organized quarterly to increase civic engagement.
The participants comported themselves, actively participated throughout the programme and the resource persons were also well vested in their various topics delivered which made the Youth Activists Workshop a success. Much appreciation was given to the Ministry of National Security for supporting and sponsoring such educative programme.