Ave-Dakpa (VR), Sept 4, GNA - Dr Prince Sodoke Amuzu, District Chief Executive (DCE) of Akatsi North has appealed to the youth to be wary of tendencies that breed secessionist movement in the country.
He said the citizenry needed to watch these tendencies and not assume that secessionist groups were far removed from society and only come around to radicalise the youth and the vulnerable with extremist views.
Dr Amuzu who was speaking at a day’s workshop organised by the Akatsi North office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) described the nationwide training aimed to engage the public on secessionist movement in Ghana and to promote national cohesion and peaceful co-existence as a timely project to empower citizens.
“Secessionist conversation doesn’t start with secessionists; it starts with disrespect for an established authority. There’s an Assembly man but I say I won’t work with him because I don’t like him. It is when people start taking the law into their own hands.
So, there’s an administration of governance in a country but certain people can also say ‘we’re secessionists, we want to create our own country’ and that is how it starts.
The DCE cited the Western Togoland secessionist group as an example saying, it initially had no secession intent but later evolved into what it had become from holding meetings with chiefs and people across Volta Region (now Volta and Oti) which among others, affected communal labour in his District.
The NCCE and Ministry of National Security project on the theme: “Empowering Ghanaians to Stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation” took participants composed of youth group leaders, opinion leaders and residents from border communities and other hotspot areas in the District through presentations on public order, national security strategy and national cohesion as well as a film show.
They were asked to form watchdog committees for the purpose of surveillance for detection of signs of radicalism and to report strange activities, detect signs of radicalism and in the event of attack, call toll free numbers of 112, 191 and 18555 for rapid response.
Mr Kenneth Kponor, Volta Region NCCE Director called on youths he referred to as “the future of the country” to be very alert to happenings in their communities saying, “Ghana is much prone to violence because we are surrounded by countries that are suffering from violent extremism.”
He charged them to take messages on promoting national cohesion and peaceful co-existence seriously and put them into practice so that in unity, the country could fight against external aggression.
Rev Fr Stephen Avinu, Parish Priest of St Anthony’s Catholic Church, Ave Dakpa said National Cohesion which entailed individuals living and working together in peace, required respect for humanity and dignity, common vision and sense of belonging.
He encouraged all to appreciate and value all persons from different backgrounds, live a life devoid of discrimination, be tolerant and shun religious extremism, racism and ethnicity and stressed that “peace is a valuable commodity and a universal duty to us all to guard jealously.”
Mrs Joyce Afutu, Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs at NCCE underscored the need for all to work towards a united Ghana that others toiled and shed their blood for.
“My father is an Asante; my mother comes from the Central Region and I’m a subject of this region (Volta) by marriage. So, you see, anything that happens to these three regions, I am dead.”