By Albert Futukpor
Tamale, Dec. 04, GNA-Madam Kathleen Addy, the Chairperson, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has called for interventions to change the orientation and mindset of young people, to harness their energies into nation building agenda.
She said there was the need for Ghana to change the narrative of young people from being vulnerable and susceptible to violent extremism, to being drivers of socio-economic growth.
She made the call at the third national stakeholders’ dialogue, held in Tamale as part of the “Preventing and Containing Violent Extremism (PCVE) in the Northern Regions of Ghana,” project being implemented by the NCCE with support from the European Union.
It was a youth-focused dialogue looking at ways to empower young people to contribute to national development, and not be swayed into believing in extremist tendencies.
Participants included young people, traditional and religious leaders, representatives of the security services, and the European Union amongst other stakeholders in the Northern Region.
There was an agreement between a panelist and the participants during the dialogue on the issue of the youth being an asset to the nation, but factors such as poverty, marginalisation, lack of education and limited economic opportunities contributed to the vulnerability of communities making especially the youth susceptible to extremist ideologies.
The PCVE project is aimed at strengthening state actors (governance, security, media) and non-state actors at the national and community levels in the fight against violent extremism, as well as individuals identified as at risks prevented from joining violent or criminal groups.
Madam Addy said while some people felt that present conditions were not conducive in the country, it was important for them to recognise that resorting to violence would not yield any positive result, hence need for all to cherish the current national peace and unity.
She emphasised that “No matter how bad the situation is, resorting to violence can never be an answer. No matter how bad your situation is, violence can never make it better.”
Alhaji Shani Alhassan Saibu, the Northern Regional Minister, whose speech was read on his behalf, called for partnerships, sharing of best practices and developing strategies that would serve as a blueprint for preventing and containing violent extremism in the country.
He said together, the citizens must work tirelessly to build a society where harmony triumphed over hatred, understanding over ignorance and compassion over violence, because the future generations deserved nothing less.