Mrs. Bertha Demennu, the Political and Public Affairs Officer at the Canadian High Commission in Accra, has urged citizens to see peace and security as a responsibility to sustain a peaceful society.
Mrs. Demennu said peace was a human development factor that created an enabling environment and projected a community, where everyone is involved in ensuring the activities of violent extremist and vigilantism did not thrive.
She said a community where everyone played a watchdog role, conscious of preserving peace, with well-informed women and youth equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to help prevent violence, peaceful co-existence and social cohesion would prevail.
Mrs. Demennu made the call during the opening of a two-day meeting with women and youth groups for the prevention of violent extremism in society at Techiman in the Bono East Region.
It was organised by the National Peace Council (NPC) under the “Dialogue on Preventing Violent Extremism, Terrorism and Vigilantism for Women and Youth Project” being implemented by the Council with funding support from the Canadian Fund for Local Initiative (CFLI).
She expressed concern most at times matters of peace and security were seen as the business of particular stakeholders and, therefore, left for only few to address in the society.
That, according to her, was not right because achieving sustainable peace now required collective effort with holistic approach to greatly help in preventing acts of terrorism, which were already occurring in some neighboring countries.
Mrs Demennu added terrorist attacks on Ghana’s neighbouring countries had made the potential threats on the country more realistic, hence the need for everyone to nationalistically assist as a peace ambassador in ensuring peace everywhere nationwide.
Mr Frank Wilson Bodza, Deputy Director in-charge of Conflict Management and Resolution at the NPC, explained the Project aimed at curbing violent extremism in Africa, which had been observed as a trouble spot.
Mr Bodza attributed the menace of extremism and attacks, among others, to bad governance, vigilantism, illegal mining, poor environmental practices with resultant food insecurity.
Consequently, he said, the project was focused on equipping the most affected people, women and the youth with skills to combat such menace to safeguard the country’s socio-economic development.
Mr Ernest Ansah Lartey, Head of Peace and Security Studies at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC), said peace was a major tool for national progress.
Hence, the KAIPTC was committed to collaborate with stakeholders to provide capacity building on peace and security to people to strengthen peace in Ghana, Africa and beyond.