By Seraphine Nyuiemedi
The Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah has urged Ghanaians especially, the youth to do away with political intolerance, impunity tribal prejudices, and build strong institutions that will ensure trust for national cohesion and development.
He said maintaining the country’s peace is crucial at a time when the country is facing economic crisis, issues of youth agitations over limited opportunities, the threat of terrorism and violent extremism in West Africa and the Sahel region.
This was contained in a message presented at a two-day Conference organised by the Volta Regional Secretariat of the National Peace Council in Ho.
The Conference was on the theme:“Building an inclusive nation – Dialoging with Volta and Oti regions.
It was a follow-up to a series of dialogue organised by the National Peace Council in some 18 communities of the two regions in July and August last year. The aim was to dialogue on the claim of discrimination and marginalisation against the people of the Volta and Oti Regions, particularly, the Ewe ethnic group, identify their origin, nature and the implications of the claims.
Some of the issues discussed include the Togoland Study Group, the concept of peaceful resolution of conflicts, multi-ethnic, divided societies, multi-culturalism and the quest for harmony.
The Minister of National Security, Albert Kan-Dapaah called for the re-commitment of all stakeholders and the public to dialogue and build consensus to addressing grievances.
“Let us, as a people, recommit ourselves to dialogue and consensus-building in addressing our grievances. It is the surest way of keeping our people together,” he said.
The Volta Regional Minister, Dr. Archibald Yao Letsa, said though the country is surrounded by some violent regional neighbouring countries, it is recognised by the international community as an oasis of peace. He said while the dynamics of the current violence in the sub-region may be different from those in the 1990s, they are still linked to the perception of identity-based discrimination and marginalisation.
“Claims of ethnic discrimination and marginalisation which have contributed to violence in our neighbourhood and the sub-region often revolved around denial of tangible human needs such as the provision of social services, infrastructure of all types etc.” he said.
The President of the Volta Region House of Chiefs, Togbe Tepre Hodo, said the Ewe ethnic group is known to be discriminated against by some other tribes in the country and demands that the Volta Region be accorded the needed respect just as it is being done to any other Region.
A book that contains a report on last year’s meetings was also launched. Participants included representatives of civil society organisations, traditional and religious leaders, youth associations, representatives of non-governmental organisations, academia and State institutions.