Mr Robert Boame, the Oti Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has called on political actors, religious and traditional leaders, as well as the youth in the region, to prioritize peace in their communities.
During a stakeholder's forum held in Dambai, Mr Boame emphasized the potential for chieftaincy, land disputes, and political issues to incite violent extremism, urging those involved to exercise restraint in handling these matters.
He highlighted the findings of recent research conducted by the NCCE in the five Northern Regions, Oti, Bono East, and Bono, which assessed people's knowledge of violent extremism.
The study revealed that only a few people were aware of the issue, with youth and women being most at risk, while the Oti Region was identified as the most tolerant among the regions surveyed.
Mr Boame advised the youth to avoid engaging in activities that undermine peace and unity in their communities, and landlords and landladies were urged to conduct background checks on their tenants.
The stakeholder's forum was organized by the NCCE Krachi East Municipal office in collaboration with the Krachi East Municipal Assembly.
Mr Issahaku Yakubu, the Krachi East Municipal Coordinating Director, emphasized the importance of education in preventing violent extremism and expressed concerns about youth staying out late at night and associating with groups that could fuel violence.
He called on leaders to address the issues between Fulani herdsmen and farmers in the Municipality and assured the Assembly's support in creating a peaceful environment for all citizens and investors.
Pastor Michael Osei-Frimpong, Head Pastor of the Dambai Central Church of Pentecost, encouraged participants to embrace religious diversity as a means to ensure lasting peace in the Municipality.
He emphasized that the consequences of war and misunderstanding hinder development and stressed the importance of practising peace, not just speaking about it.
Mr Samuel Opoku of the Ghana Commercial Bank Plc Dambai branch urged participants to take advantage of the bank's various products and cultivate a habit of saving for the future of their children.
Mr Clement Kwesi Mamadu, the Krachi East Municipal Director of NCCE, cautioned women about being inadvertently drawn into violent extremism and advised them to be mindful of their words, which could influence their children to join extremist groups for monetary gain.
He urged drivers to thoroughly check passengers before allowing them into their vehicles for safety purposes, highlighting kidnapping, suicide bombings, and piracy as some of the tactics employed by extremist groups.
Mr Mamadu emphasized the need for increased vigilance in places where large gatherings occur, such as funerals, bus stations, shops, festivals, and schools.
He urged people to be attentive to strangers or individuals displaying suspicious behaviour in their communities and report any concerns to security agencies.
Mr Mamadu reminded the audience to “If you see something, say something,” and to remember the toll-free emergency numbers for prompt assistance: 999, 191, and 18555.
The forum saw the participation of 170 stakeholders from various groups and unions in the Municipality.
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