The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Ministry of National Security have held an Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) meeting at Daboase in the Wassa East District of the Western Region to sensitize stakeholders on the need to promote national cohesion.
The event was organised under the theme, “Empowering Ghanaians to Stand for National Cohesion and Inclusive Participation” and attended by representatives from the political parties and other interest groups like the Local Council of Churches, Commission on Human Right and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) and Traditional Authorities among others.
Mr Andrew Acquah, Wassa East District Director for NCCE announced that the NCCE with support from the Ministry of National Security was embarking on special activities aimed at heightening the understanding and appreciation of the people of Ghana on things that threaten national cohesion, peace and security and what we could do as a people to ensure that national unity and cohesion were sustained to ensure peace and development.
He pointed out that maintaining the peace and security of the nation was a shared responsibility, adding that security consciousness would be expected from the public.
Mr Acquah lamented that kidnapping, secessionist movement and vigilantism were foreign practices that have been adopted by some people which threatens peace and security of the country.
The Western Regional Director for NCCE, Mr Justice Annin who took participants through the Public Order Act said the Act seeks to give protection to participants of any outdoor programme such as demonstrations and political rallies among others.
Mr Annin urged the political parties and other interest groups to seek permission and approval from the police before embarking on such activities.
Touching on security strategies, he divulged that the Ministry of National Security has developed a document to be studied and used for the security of the country and mentioned unemployment, chieftaincy, COVID-19 and conflicts as some of the internal security threats.
Mr Kobbina Dodoo, a retired Fire Station Officer enlightened participants on the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 and explained that the Act applies to an act or threat of violence, or intimidation undertaken by a person, or ground of persons to further the interest of the person or any other person associated with a political party, landowner among others.
He stated that a sentence of 15-25 years with hard labour could be given to persons found culpable under the law.
He, therefore, entreated political parties and other interest groups to stop sponsoring and harbouring these groups as it disturbs the peace and security of the country.