Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives (MMDCEs) have been urged to build consensus with all stakeholders for peaceful coexistence and effective administration of their respective jurisdictions.
Mr Simon Osei-Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, said although some of the assemblies in the region were sharply divided on partisan lines, it was important to consider all actors to ensure success of the peace building and development process.
“I would entreat you all to accord the needed respect and recognition to all stakeholders, especially the traditional authorities, assembly members, opinion leaders and the people within your jurisdiction. You have to build cordial relations with your management,” he said.
Speaking at a capacity building workshop in Kumasi on Conflict Management and Reporting for MMDCEs, he said the development agenda of the Government would only be possible when there was peaceful coexistence between the leaders and the people.
The need for peace in Ghana had never been more apparent than this time, where socio-political systems seemed not to respond effectively to emerging conflicts, Mr Osei-Mensah said.
The youth, he noted, were increasingly agitated over limited opportunities, with impunity eating into the society and the threat of extremism looming large over the sub-region.
Mr Osei-Mensah said early response was the benchmark for mitigating violence and urged the people to desist from resorting to chaotic behaviour whenever tension rose.
He said in recent times the use of dialogue had proven to be effective in the settlement of misunderstandings and that there should be enough trust and confidence between the local government structures and the citizens to avoid political instability.
Right Reverend Christopher Nyarko Andam, the Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Peace Council, said the National Peace Council continued to raise awareness on the use of non-violent strategies to respond to conflicts through networking, coordination and campaigning with other development actors to ensure peace.
He said the Ashanti Region, like other regions, remained vulnerable to intermittent communal violence, chieftaincy disputes, electoral violence, vigilantism, youth clashes, and land resource conflict in mining areas.
The solutions to those problems required the collective efforts of all stakeholders and citizens, he said.
The workshop was put together by the National Peace Council in collaboration with the Department of Peace and Development Studies of the University of Cape Coast, with support from the Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA).
It sought to improve the capacities of MMDCEs on conflict resolution techniques to enable them to manage and speak on conflict issues from informed positions and empower them to integrate conflict sensitivity in their development plans and agendas.