The Yendi Municipal Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr. Osman Kassim, has called for consolidation of the peace prevailing in the municipality and the northern region as a whole.
He urged the state and peace actors not to rest on their oars but to keep working and be proactive in managing conflicts rather than waiting for problems to spiral out of control before intervening.
The director also said that the peace and harmony enjoyed by the people should be jealously guarded by one and all to propel the region towards growth to improve living conditions.
Delivering a keynote address on “Unity and Diversity – The Role of Youth in Promoting Peace in Dagbon and Beyond” at a peace forum organized by the Youth Office of the Catholic Diocese of Yendi, Mr. Kassim indicated that it was the primary responsibility of state actors and civil society organizations (CSOs) to organize such forums as a preventive mechanism to deal with potential threats that could disturb the peace in the region.
The forum – which was held at the Saint Martins Pastoral Center in Sunson of the Municipality of Yendi – was organized with the support of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), through its Sahel Peace Initiative (SPI) project, for 150 young people from of Yendi, Bimbilla, Saboba, Tatale and Chereponi, in the presence, among others, of the Center for Peace of Yendi, of the Justice and Peace Commission.
Mr Kassim said the effort was a step in the right direction and prayed that it would become a regular part of the municipality’s calendar.
He said more such programs should be organized to remind young people in particular and the population of the need to consolidate peace in Dagbon and deal with the warning signs of conflict in the society.
Sense of unity
CRS Executive Vice President Ms Candace Osunsade said the forum brought a sense of unity that should be able to blossom beyond the meeting.
She urged people to embrace peace and love one another, saying the organization was in Ghana to support lasting peace to enable young people to thrive.
She said that the future is for young people and that the forum has provided assurance of lasting peace among peoples.
The Diocesan Youth Chaplain, Reverend Father Abraham Wunbiyeli, in his welcome address, said that the issue of youth in the Catholic Diocese of Yendi was no different from their counterparts elsewhere in the country.
Reverend Father Wunbiyeli said that poverty, high illiteracy, HIV/AIDS, drug trafficking, prostitution, pornography, teenage pregnancy and abortion, the occult and the mentality of witchcraft had emerged as key issues requiring an urgent response among young people.
He said that in light of the many challenges, young people must stand in solidarity with those affected and work tirelessly to resolve the issues for the good of their societies.
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Yendi, Msgr. Vincent Sowah Boi-Nai, called on the CRS to support the Yendi Peace Center and the Office of the Youth Chaplain, to organize more peace forums for youth associations of the Eastern Corridor in order to disabuse their minds of potential tribal conflicts.
He said this would support peace and harmony in the region and added that the youth needed employment, and therefore urged them to take advantage of opportunities in agriculture in particular, to generate income for them- themselves and their families.