The Akatsi South Directorate of the NCCE in the Volta Region organized a day’s Youth Activist Workshop (YAW) for selected youth leaders in the municipality to engage them in the activities of secessionist movement groups and violent extremist attacks within the West Africa region.
Rev. Vincent Adzika, the Akatsi South Municipal Director of the NCCE, in his welcome address stated that the few violent activities that were witnessed last year by a group of Western Togoland Restoration Front activists are a wake-up call for all citizens to be vigilant.
In recent times Violence extremists and terrorist activities in some West African states must be an issue of concern to all citizens and well-wishers.
The NCCE in Collaboration with the Ministry of National Security is embarking on series of activities in selected districts to sensitize people with secessionist inclinations on the truth about the case of the Western Togoland as part and parcel of Ghana under the theme: “Empowering Ghanaians to stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation”.
Rev. Adzika added that “The vigilance of citizens about activities of known and unknown people around their communities in this period is necessary for National Security and Cohesion”.
The Deputy Volta Regional Director of the NCCE, Mr. Oral-Robert Amenyo, who witnessed the engagement, said when there is no national cohesion, the nation will be opened up to activities of external aggression.
He also revealed that the activities of terrorists were more fruitful in nations that are greatly divided into ethnic, religious, and political lines.
Terrorists always send scouts to look for loopholes in peaceful countries such as ours for exploration and the need for national cohesion. He said when there is no national cohesion there is no peace and when there is no peace, there is no development and progress in a country.
This, Mr. Amenyo said, called for educating members of the Ghanaian public on the importance of National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation in the Governance Process.
The Municipal Chief Executive, Hon. Leo-nelson Adzidogah, who was the Special Guest of Honour remarks that, Workshop of this nature is necessary to help enlighten the youths so that there are not misled to join any group that is operating as a terrorist agenda in the name of Secessionist Movement.
He added that because of the important role of the youth in nation-building, the Government is greatly investing in the youth through various intervention programs such Free SHS program, NABCo, etc.
Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Kpodo, a lawyer and the Cathedral Administrator of the Holy Spirit Cathedral, Akatsi, spoke on the general overview of vigilantism and its related offenses Act, 2019 (Act 999), the Public Order Act, and other enactments.
He emphasized on the need to ascribe to the in-depth procedures as contained in the Public Order Act 1994 (Act 491) to create the essential opportunities for promoting mutual understanding before permission was granted for the organization of any public events or demonstration for peaceful co-existence.
He explained that aggressive activities by secessionist groups tended to create insecurity in the country, destabilizes good governance, limit movement, and many other negativities, which affected the effective and efficient functioning of both local and central governments.
Rev. Fr Kpodo encouraged participants to think about the need to abstain from engaging in unlawful actions that could compromise the country’s peace and security.
He maintained that it must be of greatest concern to the organizers of any public events to guarantee that their participants conducted themselves within the dictates of the law to avoid any untoward consequences.
Rev. Fr. Stephen Avinu, Parish Priest of St. Anthony Catholic Church, Ave-Dakpa, spoke on National Cohesion and Peaceful Co-existence as an important aspect of National Development.
He said there was the need for all to have the spirit of love, one vision, focus, and love for one another, as well as living a life devoid of discrimination.
Rev. Fr. Avinu encouraged the public, particularly the youth, to uphold the principles of unity, national cohesion, and peaceful co-existence, as they guarantee stable ground for national development.
He further said tolerance for each other was key, irrespective of one’s religious, ethnic, and political affiliations and that, “violence would not be any proper response to solving grievances.”
“Resort to the negotiation desk whenever there are issues because peace is a value and universal duty,” he added.
Mr. Emmanuel Davies, the Magistrate of the Akatsi Magistrate Court, stressed the need to embrace Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) since it was one of the effective complaint procedures to get the required outcome.
He added that in a Grievances Handling Procedures, the outcomes of ADR are always a win-win situation while in a typical judicial arbitration the outcomes are always a win-lose or lose-win situation.
Mr. George Abizy Baffour, Deputy Divisional Head, National Investigations Bureau (NIB), Aflao Division, on his part, charged participants to report any unwarranted activity in the society to the appropriate security agencies for swift action.
He added that is illegal for any citizen to take the law into his own hand and try to disturb the Social Order.
Mr. Abizy Baffour said no arrest was made until the Western Togoland Restoration Front activist took the law into their own hands and attacked a Police Station in Mepe and broken into the Armory of Ghana Police Service, took weapons, and shot a divisional commander.
This he said was an act of Terrorism and illegality and must not be supported by any peace-loving Ghanaian.
Rev. F. F. K. Tsagli, Chairman of the Akatsi area of the Global Evangelical Church who chaired the event, thanked the organizers of the forum, and expressed the belief that it would bring a conducive atmosphere for national unity and nation-building.
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