Ghana is not immune to violent extremism although the country continues to enjoy peace and stability for decades.
Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) who disclosed this said the threat to national security was not merely a perception but real.
“The threat is real from within and without,” she added.
She said the emerging trends of electoral violence and the use of arms by political vigilante groups during elections in the country are part of the internal threats that could jeopardize political stability and the nascent democratic dispensation Ghana was enjoying which is enviable in the Sub-Region.
Also, the activity of the secessionist movement from the Western Togoland and chieftaincy disputes in some parts of the country were examples of internal extremism that equally threaten national unity and cohesion, she said.
Ms. Nkrumah, who was interacting with participants in Accra at the launch of a Research Report on Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to the Northern Border Regions of Ghana (NORPREVSEC), conducted by NCCE with support from the European Union, added that the growing insecurity in the West African Sub-Region, particularly religious fundamentalists operating in the Sahel Region and along the Northern borders of Ghana have implications on the country’s peace, stability and sustainable development.
She, therefore, called on the government and development-oriented organisations to support in educating the public to sustain peace and prevent violence in the country, adding that the need for peace and unity should remain the focus of all.
“As citizens, we must be watchful, vigilant and prepared in guarding our security and by extension our nation’s security. To be so able, we must understand the concept of violent extremism and identify threats to our national security,” she said.
The research was undertaken in March 2021 to investigate the risks/threats of violent extremism and other forms of violence in the ten boarder regions in the country which include; Western, Northern, Volta, Upper East and Bono regions. Other regions are; Western North, Oti, Upper West, North East and Savannah.
Esther Atubiga & Dorcas Anorkor Addo, ISD