Chieftaincy disputes, threat to security, governance – WACCE
Accra – October 16, 2018
West Africa Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) has warned that the prolonged unresolved chieftaincy conflicts in most parts of Ghana pose major security and governance challenge for the country if it is left unresolved quickly. With more than 352 unresolved chieftaincy conflicts nationwide, chieftaincy and ethnic conflicts have claimed more than 12,700 lives in the last three decades and half. WACCE’s Executive Director, Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar was speaking at an opening ceremony to mark the beginning of a two-day capacity building workshop on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Ghana. The workshop brought together 100 youth drawn from various communities and towns across the country to strengthen their capacities to serve as youth ambassadors for their communities.
He emphasized that the statistics indicate that chieftaincy and ethnic violence remained the single most pervasive source of insecurity and fatality. He indicated that the dangerous nature of vigilante violence, the fierce political campaigns and unwarranted intra-religious violence collectively have the tendency to create an enduring culture of violence with the penchant to serve as conveyor belt to terrorist recruitment or large scale violence.
Mr Muqthar said, in the last three years, WACCE had succeeded in working with various local communities to dissuade more than 22 individuals from sliding into violent extremism. “In 2016, through our local community counter radicalisation programme, we worked hard to stop a young man, 21, from joining ISIS just a day before he was scheduled to depart to Syria,” he added.
He said, the workshop would help empower the participants to serve as legitimate voices for the promotion of peace and coexistence.
He called on all stakeholders including government, the National Peace Council, Ministry of Interior, Ministries of Chieftaincy and Religious Affairs, Inner Cities and Zongo Development, religious and traditional leaders to take the vulnerabilities for violence more serious.
The Minister for the Interior, Mr Ambrose Dery, in a speech read on his behalf said, without security there would not be a conducive environment for national development, adding that security underpinned sustainable development in every country.
“It is due to this that the President has elevated security to the front burner in national affairs and this is commendable and appreciated,” he stated. He said to be able to counter emerging security threats; the Ghana Police Service had established new units and departments, such as the cybercrime unit, intelligence unit and counter –terrorism unit.
Mr Dery emphasized that security was a shared responsibility for individuals, groups, communities, corporate bodies and civil societies and called on the citizenry to ensure that terrorism, extremism and insurgency did not take root in Ghana.
- October 16, 2018, Accra