By Maxwell Nkansah
The Government of Ghana has heaped praises on the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the National Peace Council (NPC) for creating awareness about the threats of violent extremism in Ghana.
The commendation follows reports about increasing movement of extremist activities southwards from the Sahel. Government has also spoke words of encouragement to the public over the raging spread of extremist acts of violence in the West African sub-region, saying the threat on the country should not be a cause for alarm.
The Upper East Regional Minister, Stephen Yakubu took the opportunity to commend the Regional Peace Council Secretariat in the Upper East Region and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) for their continuous support for peace building and averting violent extremism in the region.
According to him, they have followed with satisfaction and with their targeted sensitization and engagement programmes in the region which is helping to douse tensions and creating awareness about the threats of extremism. He further stated that, It is important to state that the threat of terrorism in Ghana is not a cause for alarm or gloom in any way. It calls for all stakeholders including government and communities to work together.
The message is contained in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Upper East Regional Coordinating Council, Alhaji Mahamadu Azonko, at the opening ceremony of a three-day sensitization Programme on countering violent extremism jointly organized by Ghana’s National Peace Council (NPC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
The initiative was sponsored by the Government of the Netherlands and Sweden; the Programme has in attendance women and youth groups selected from some communities in Bongo, one of the districts in the Upper East Region. The participants are being informed how extremists can take advantage of any existing conflicts in their communities to creep into the country and how dialogue can be used to resolve such conflicts in order to keep the violent extremists at bay and the country terror-free.
The Regional Minister revealed that through the Regional Security Council and government has tasked all Municipal and District Security Councils to undertake intensive sensitization programmes at community levels against extremism. They see the sensitization Programme as fitting into the region-wide agenda on violent extremism.