Some youth in the Ketu South Municipality have appealed to the state to deal tactfully with the Western Togoland secessionists to avoid spillover of violence across the country.
They proposed, among others, a discussion to get leaders of the group to give up on their secession agenda, follow due process to punish offenders of the law and sensitise the public against accepting extremist views, insisting deployment of the military was not an option.
The proposal also emphasised the need for government and decision-makers at all levels to address underlying conditions, including socio-economic issues, discrimination, marginalisation, poor governance and human rights violations that could make people susceptible to joining these violent extremist groups.
This came up at a dayâ€™s youth activism workshop organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in partnership with the Ministry of National Security.
The meeting was aimed to engage the public on the secessionist movement in Ghana and to promote national cohesion and peaceful co-existence, especially in at-risk communities.
The workshop, which had participants from border communities and other hotspot areas in the Municipality, saw presentations on public order, national security strategy and national cohesion as well as a film show.
The group work and presentation centred on the secessionist phenomenon and its negatives, threats to national cohesion and ways to nation-building.
The participants said using force to curtail the secessionist movement might fail and rather endanger the countryâ€™s peace and unity, visiting hardships and sufferings, especially on women and youth as currently being seen in neighbouring African countries.
Rev Fr Oscar W.O Kuebutornye of Saint Paulâ€™s Senior High School (SPACO) said rising robbery cases, activities of terrorists, piracy and kidnapping posed serious security threats.
He said these crimes were manifestations that all was not well in the country, requiring everyoneâ€™s involvement to right the wrongs.
â€œIn the midst of divisive ideologies, greed, community superiority / inferiority, weakening of the family system, unemployment and corruption among others, we cannot achieve anything. We have to live a genuine life, have a national vision, correct the educational structure with the media and religion especially, playing crucial roles to get things right otherwise, letâ€™s forget it.â€
Dr Imrana Mohammed, Acting Director of Programmes at NCCE, said security was a shared responsibility and asked citizens to be united and not take the prevailing peace in the country for granted.
â€œThe threat of violence is just close to us. Letâ€™s care about each other so they may not exploit our recklessness and attack us. National security is for the government and society. Today, weâ€™re the immediate security officers and have a responsibility to defend Ghana by being agents of bringing the community together for surveillance. Letâ€™s understand that Ghana is what we have.â€
Mr Kenneth Kponor, Director, Volta Region NCCE, charged, â€œletâ€™s be ambassadors and alert in our communities so weâ€™re not taken by surprise and invaded because that will be disastrous.â€