WACCE organizes youth against violent extremism in Ghana
The West Africa Centre for Counter – Extremism (WACCE) has organized a workshop that seeks to underline the imperative need to eschew violence and empower the youth on how to engage in productive economic ventures.
The two-day capacity building workshop is to strengthen the abilities of the youth to serve as effective peace ambassadors to help build a resilient youth front for sustainable peace.
The workshop on “Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) in Ghana and themed - Challenging Extremism, Promoting Pluralism and Inspiring” was held in Accra and saw the attendance of participants, mostly young people, who sought to serve as leading voices for the amplification of narratives that are supportive of peace.
Radicalization has been noted to be the single biggest factor that leads individuals and groups to engage in terrorism. It is a process an individual goes through, influenced largely by a combination of factors including poverty, unemployment, negative religious ideals or propaganda and a host of other factors leading the individual to destination where violence is perceived to be the legitimate tool to express grievances.
This then leads to terrorist acts since the person develops uncompromising views regarding religion, politics, social codes, ideals and cultivates absolutist posture on issues.
Executive Director of WACCE, Mutaru Mumuni Muqthar, disclosed that there are a significant number of vulnerabilities when it comes to terrorism in communities because there are people who are in the process of being radicalized without knowing actually that they are on the part of radicalization.
Hence the workshop, which is focused on uncovering the underpinnings of radicalization and factors that can motivate groups or individuals to engage in terrorism.
Muqthar explained that understanding is key to preventing threats from the local community adding that “when we deal with the local community, proximity to local security factors would help you better understand security measures.”
He said WACCE has in the past four years dissuaded at least 22 youth from becoming radicalized and joining terrorist groups.
On his part, Director General of the National Patrol Department, COP Akuribah Yaagy, encouraged the youth to have the spirit of nationalism and patriotism stating that they are keys to preventing violence in the country.
He urged young individuals to collaborate with security institutions and other stakeholders by reporting strange characters who incite violence in their communities.
Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Aremeyaw Shuaib, said that the youth should not hide behind religion to incite chaos in the society.
To him no matter, the religious background of an individual, fight, hate and violence is never taught, thus people who defend violent behaviours based on religion are only the radical ones.
He advised young people to be careful with the people they choose as role models especially on social media.