A youth leader has urged the youth in Bawku to say “enough is enough” to the recurring ethnic conflicts in the area.
David James Abang-Gos, Upper East regional coordinator of the National Youth Council, told a regional youth dialogue forum here on Tuesday that saying “no” to the conflict was necessary because the youth are both the perpetrators and victims.
The forum, organised by the NYC and attended by over 200 people, discussed issues on youth development and participation in local governance and decision making.
Mr. Abang-Gos said the youth in Bawku had been misled to start and sustain the conflict while their sponsors live comfortably with their families outside the “war zone.”
The Regional Co-ordinator appealed to unscrupulous people who took advantage of the youth to perpetuate crimes, violence and mayhem to stop the practice.
Mr. Abang-Gos also advised the youth to be wary of such persons and rather focus on their education to build a bright future for themselves.
Mr. Mark Woyongo, the Regional Minister, opening the forum deplored the absence of a national youth policy to guide and direct their systematic mobilisation and development for sustainable development.
The government, he said, recognising that lapse was therefore committed to developing a dynamic youth policy taking cognisance of the 2004 youth manifesto prepared by the youth of Ghana for that year’s general election.
The policy, according to Mr. Woyongo would provide an appropriate platform for encouraging the youth to engage in matters that affect them.
He said it would also be designed to bring the youth to the governance table and engage them in civil responsibility debate as well as the decision-making process.
Mr. Woyongo explained that the intention to involve the youth in the decision-making process was not an empty pledge but had already been implemented.
He said it was refreshing that the NYC had initiated the move by organising such a forum with the view to increasing youth participation in local governance and election issues, among other things.
The Regional Minister stressed the need for the youth to learn from the horrific experiences of their peers in war-ravaged countries like Cote d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and refrain from acts that could degenerate into violent conflicts.
He urged the participants of the forum to feel free to air their views and concerns to enable the government and institutions of democratic governance to fashion out youth tailored policies to address their concerns.
Mr. Hillary Adongo, Director of Restorative Seed Club, a youth organisation in a statement on behalf of the youth of the region, called on the government to resource and support the NYC adequately to enable them to discharge their duties efficiently and effectively.
He underscored the importance of the youth and stressed the need for policies regarding them to be given priority attention.
Mr. Donald Adabre, an Ambassador designate, who presided advised the youth to refrain from the use of illicit drugs and be obedient, respectful and disciplined so as to become responsible citizens in the future.