Wechiau (U/W), Sept. 14, GNA – The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has urged border communities to be extra vigilant and lookout for suspected characters to enable them to foil any plans of violent extremism.
Mr Nurideen Mumuni, the NCCE District Officer for Wa West, said because the communities shared boundaries with neighbouring countries, there was the possibility of some people being influenced by extremist groups operating in those countries.
He said the communities must be wary of the actions and inactions of their close relations and strangers alike and endeavour to report any suspicious conduct to the police.
Mr Mumuni said this during an engagement with youth activists in Wechiau in the Wa West District of the Upper West Region as part of the implementation of the “Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana (NORPREVSEC),” a project sponsored by the European Union.
The project, which is being implemented across 14 regions in Ghana, is to help deepen tolerance and national cohesion and create awareness on the increase of violent incidences in neighbouring countries.
Mr Mumuni took the participants through topics such as violence extremism, community surveillance, possible signs of radicalism, neighbourhood watch/community patrol and what to do during attacks.
He urged the participants to develop joint participatory strategies with civil society and local communities to work together to protect community members from being recruited into extremist groups.
He said such joint strategies could also provide appropriate platforms for dialogue to aid early identification of grievances to prevent the emergence of violent extremism.
Mr Mumuni admonished market women to pay close attention to the movement and actions of people during market days to enable them to identify those demonstrating signs of radicalism so they could report them to community leaders for the necessary action.
On signs of radicalism, he said participants must look out for friends and relations who were becoming increasingly argumentative, refusing to listen to different points of view, changing friends and appearances, and changing online identity among others things.
Madam Patience Sally Kumah, the Upper West Regional Director of the NCCE, urged participants to be tolerant of each other despite their ethnic, religious, and political differences to ensure national cohesion.
Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Mr Alexander Tang, the Wa West District Police Commander, advised the people not to take the law into their own hands when they arrest any suspect but hand him/her over to the police for the law to take its course.
He said the Public Order Act mandated groups or persons to notify the police five days before embarking on any demonstration, procession, and street carnival to ensure they received adequate protection from the police.
Rev. Alfred Assih, the District Pastor of the Church of Pentecost, took participants through peace building processes, community-based approaches to peace building among other topics and urged all to cooperate with state security agencies to deal with miscreants in the communities.