NCCE urges religious and traditional leaders to preach peace

Garu (U/E), Sept 15, GNA - The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has urged religious and traditional leaders to preach peace to promote unity for national cohesion and sustainable development.

It said the traditional and religious authorities should also remind their subjects that tolerance, mutual respect among others were prerequisites to achieving and maintaining harmonious environment and peaceful coexistence.

The Commission made the call at Garu in the Upper East Region during an engagement with youth activists in the district organized by the NCCE as part of the implementation of European Union (EU) sponsored project dubbed, “Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana (NORPREVSEC).

The broader goal of NORPREVSEC is to fight transnational organised crime, while promoting respect for human rights and the rule of law and the project aimed at equipping the youth with relevant information on violent extremism and radicalism and their early warning signals to guard against being recruited to perpetuate violence.

Mr Samuel Atando Akolgo, the Acting Garu District Director of the NCCE further appealed to the religious and traditional to employ their wide influence and inculcate peace in their messages to their subjects to resist all attempts to have them recruited into terrorists’ groups to cause destruction.

“I sincerely appeal to all leaders of religious groups to preach peace and national cohesion in their sermons as well as intervene to resolve intra and inter religious conflicts with the aim of promoting religious harmony and carrying their message that forges peace and unity.

“I equally appeal to the traditional leaders to also employ local mechanisms of maintaining peace and peaceful co-existence between and among communities and ethnic groups.

“NCCE will work with all religious bodies and communities to create public awareness of the values of mutual trust, tolerance, confidence building, negotiation, mediation, dialogue, reconciliation with emphasis on indigenous mechanisms for peace building and considering our cultural diversity and their use, to prohibit extremist religious ideologies, radicalization of young people and the vulnerable in our communities,” he added.

Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), Mr Dan Yaro, the Garu District Police Commander, said records of violent extremism in neighbouring countries such as Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Mali, Niger among others threatened Ghana and there was the need for all Ghanaians to take precautions.

He said ensuring security was a shared responsibility and urged all stakeholders especially the youth to be vigilant and report any suspicious characters to the opinion leaders and the Ghana Police Service for effective investigations and actions.

“To effectively manage violent extremism, security agencies and all stakeholders, civil society organizations and local community actors must collaborate to ensure they fight it.

Dr John Ananga, the Chairman of the Local Council of Churches in charge of Garu District admonished the youth in the area to channel their youth energies into productive ventures to build their futures and desist from engaging in violence.