The National Peace Council has reiterated the urgent need for pragmatic steps to be taken to safeguard the Upper West Region from any security infractions that could mar the peace the region is enjoying.
It said the Region was one among others in the country exposed to activities of violent extremists and insurgences due to the occurrences of those activities in neighbouring Burkina Faso.
Maulvi Mohammed Bin Salih, a Board member of the National Peace Council, said this in Wa during the inauguration of the reconstituted Upper West Regional Peace Council.
The 13-member Council comprised representatives from the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, SD Dombo University of Business and Integrated Development Studies, religious groups, and the Regional Coordinating Council among others, with Venerable Moses Z. Banungwiir as the chairman.
The newly inaugurated Council is expected to, among other things, ensure that there was peaceful coexistence among the people and communities in the area through effective conflict resolution and mitigation.
“The Upper West Region, when you look at it from the peace perspective, one can say we are sitting on a peg of gunpowder that can explode at any moment and if it does explode it will be very devastating for our own existence as a region, and by extension as a nation.
With these, therefore, the slightest disturbance in the Upper West Region has the potential of easily allowing these insurgences, these opportunists, these extremists to find a foot hole on Ghana through the Upper West Region,” Maulvi Salih explained.
He stressed the need to prevent violent extremist groups from accessing Ghana as that would be deleterious to the sub-region because they would capitalize on the sea to increase their nefarious activities in the sub-region.
“We must be warned that the insurgences out there will be happy to set a foot in Ghana not only to destroy the peace of our country but also to use Ghana as a platform for the destabilization of the whole of the sub-region.
Their greatest wish, therefore, is to be able to penetrate Ghana, get to the coastal part and have access to the sea where they will be able to bring those devastating weapons through boat or ship to carry out their nefarious activities that are currently going on in parts of the world”, Maulvi Salih explained.
He expressed worry that the chieftaincy and land disputes in the region if not checked could serve as breeding grounds for the insurgences to penetrate the country.
“This is only to tell us that we need to go the extra mile and not allow internal squabbles to destroy our region as doing that we will be inviting those outside to come in and disturb the country”, he added.
Maulvi Salih, therefore, urged the members of the regional peace council to be ready and prepared for the herculean task of peace-building and amicable conflict resolution among others as that was critical for the country’s development.