Community surveillance key to forestalling violent extremism – Security Operative

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    Mr Mike Danquah, a National Security Operative, has emphasised the importance of community surveillance and neighbourhood watch in dealing with violent extremism and terrorist activities.

    He said though the security personnel were doing their best in patrolling the country to ensure safety and security, communities must have watch committees to augment efforts of the security services to fight potential terrorist attacks on the country.

    Mr Danquah, speaking at Youth Activists Workshop in Ho on dangers of secessionism and violent extremism, also charged the citizens to share intelligence with security services, regarding the threat to national security for appropriate action.

    The forum was organised by the Ho Municipal Directorate of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from the Ministry of National Security to sensitise the youth on threats of secessionism and violent extremism.

    He identified youth unemployment, poverty, unregulated cyberspace, marginalisation and discrimination, among others, as some causes of extremist and terrorist activities and called for drastic and pragmatic mechanisms to address them.

    The Operative said though the country was yet to witness any terrorist activities, there was the need for the citizens to be security conscious in their daily undertakings.

    Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Alexander Yeboah, Acting Ho Municipal Commander, entreated the participants to obey the country’s laws and to avoid acts that could jeopardize the country’s peace and security.

    Mr Yeboah, who took the participants through the Vigilantism and Public Order Acts and Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Mechanisms, said the police would punish persons involve in vigilantism.

    He called on the citizens to encourage family members to refrain from joining or forming any group that breached the Constitution.

    Mr Setriakor Gagakumah, Ho Municipal NCCE Director, said national cohesion and peaceful co-existence were vital for individual and societal development.

    Our national loyalty should override our ethnic, religious and political loyalties, he said, urging Ghanaians to uphold the unity of the country and avoid engaging in divisive acts.

    Mr Gagakumah urged the youth to use legal means to address grievances, saying each and everyone had a responsibility in sustaining the unity and peace of the country.

    Dr Imrana Mohammed, Acting Programme Director, NCCE, Accra, called on the participants to serve as ambassadors and advocates of national cohesion and peaceful coexistence.

    The participants urged duty bearers to develop comprehensive measures to deal with issues of youth unemployment and ensuring equal opportunities for all, as many youths were lured into terrorist activities due to a lack of jobs.