Collaborate, confront and combat violent extremism and terrorism – Security Analyst

By Maxwell Awumah

Ho, May 24, GNA- Mr. Patrick Koffie, a Security Analyst, has appealed to Ghanaians to collaborate effectively to confront and combat violent extremism and terrorism.

He said societal crucial roles should be vigilance and reporting suspicious characters in their midst to the lawful enforcement agencies for prompt action.

Mr Koffie said these at a day’s Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) meeting with stakeholders in the Kadjebi District to dialogue on ensuring violent-free society, especially before, during after the December 7 polls.

The forum was organised and being implemented by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and funded by the European Union (E.U) and formed part of the Preventing and Containing Violent Extremist (PCVE) project being implemented by the Commission.

The key stakeholders, who were members of IPDC, included political parties, traditional and religious leaders, security services, the youth and women groups in the district.

Mr. Koffie said, “the most important things for a nation are the peace, the safety of its people and its territorial integrity, and when these are guaranteed, that citizens can go about their lives normally and strive to improve upon the quality of their circumstances.”

He said the “see something, say something” campaign should be intensified to encourage the general populace to monitor and report any suspicious activities.

He said the National Peace Council (NPC) in 2020 estimated that there were over 200 conflicts in Ghana and that while most of these were isolated; some have the potential to spread along ethnic or religious lines and thereby threaten the county’s national security.

Mr. Koffie appealed to the Chiefs, elders and traditional councils to use traditional dispute resolution mechanisms in resolving local conflicts.

Superintendent of Police, Mr Frank Nana Asomaning, Kadjebi District Police Commander, charged the participants to help prevent extremism from penetrating Ghana as security was a shared responsibility.

He asked them not to pick or accept parcels from strangers as those parcels could contain explosives.

Mr. Daniel Agbesi Latsu, Kadjebi District Director of NCCE, appealed to Ghanaians, especially politicians to love peace over war in the run-up to the 2024 general elections.

He said politicians preaching violence and beating war drums over peace should cease their actions as “the most disadvantageous peace is better than the most just war.”

The District Director said by embracing peace and fostering a culture of harmony and co-operation, Ghana could achieve numerous benefits that positively impact the well-being of the citizens.

He said it aimed at collaborating with them in peace-building and working in averting violent extremism, promoting peaceful co-existence and nation cohesion before, during and after the December 7 polls.

Mr. Latsu said culture of peace enhanced social interactions, reduced violence, and promoted a sense of well-being and harmony in various aspects of life.

He said when peace and harmony were maintained, things would continue to run smoothly.

Mr. Isaac Abavon, Akan Constituency NDC Secretary, applauded NCCE for the programme and pledged to disseminate peace information gathered to members for sustained peace in the country.

Participants were taken through various topics, including monitoring and reporting threats and vulnerabilities to violent extremism, ways to detect youth radicalisation and signs of recruitment and mediation and resolution of local conflicts.