The Centre for Active Learning and Integrated Development (CALID), an NGO, has kick-started its election project: dubbed “Vigilant 4 Election 2020”.
As part of rolling out the programme, it organised a stakeholder meeting with the Gushegu, Savelugu and Tamale Assemblies to discuss modalities on the project.
The Vigilant 4 Election 2020 project, which will end in February, 2021, is funded by the STAR Ghana Foundation to ensure peace before, during and after the 2020 elections, and it is being implemented in the Tamale Metropolis, Gushegu and Savelugu Municipalities and the Nanton District.
Its stakeholders included; representatives of the Assemblies, traditional and religious authorities and major youth groups in those Assemblies.
The meeting was to introduce the project to the stakeholders as well as form violence free Election Peace Committees to help with the implementation of the project in the communities in these Assemblies.
Gushe-Naa Mahama Abdulai Shitobu, Paramount Chief of Gushegu, who spoke when representatives of CALID called on him at his palace at Gushegu to introduce the project to him, underscored the importance of peace to accelerating socio-economic development, saying “Without peace, one cannot even drink water.”
He, therefore, lauded the initiative and called on residents in the area to fully participate to ensure its successful implementation.
Yoo-Naa Abdulai Yakubu Andani, Paramount Chief of Savelugu, who also spoke when representatives of CALID called on him at his palace to introduce the project, was grateful that his area was chosen to benefit from the project.
He expressed worry at how political parties and their leaders influenced the youth with huge sums of money to do their bidding by causing chaos and mayhem before, during and after elections, saying such acts were not good for the country’s democracy.
He expressed willingness to support the project to work to ensure peaceful elections in December.
The Coordinating Directors of Gushegu and Savelugu Assemblies, at separate meetings, spoke about the work of the District Elections Task Force, which was similar to CALID’s project and gave assurance of support for the project to succeed.
Mr Mohammed Awal Sumani Bapio, Executive Director of CALID said the organisation was in the process of forming Election Peace Committees in the Assemblies to among other things deal with issues that were inimical to a peaceful electoral process at the respective Assemblies.
He said the Election Peace Committees would be made up of representatives of political parties, political and non-aligned youth groups, traditional and religious leaders, women’s groups, selected public institutions and other minority ethnic groups.