As the December 7 Presidential and Parliamentary elections draw close, collective roles of citizens and stakeholders are needed to ensure peaceful electoral process before, during and after the elections.
In this regard, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in the Kassena-Nankana West District of the Upper East Region has held a youth activists workshop to sensitize members of the public, especially the youth on the need to ensure and maintain peace in the area.
The workshop brought together leaders of the various political parties including the two main parties, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress, and some heads of institutions to discuss the Public Order Act and election 2020; prospects and challenges.
The programme also afforded the stakeholders the opportunity to discuss the electoral offenses and sanctions and looked at the overview of the Public Elections Regulations (C.1127).
The workshop was supported by the European Union, and was on the theme: “Empowering the youth to stand up for Ghana for a peace election 2020.”
Addressing participants, Mr Robert Dampare, the Kassena-Nankana West District Director of the NCCE said the NCCE embarked on the nationwide workshops as a strategy to engage youth activists across 60 selected Districts.
He said the initiative was to promote non-violence in the December 7 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, and appealed to members of the public to help maintain the peace in the Constituency and country at large.
He said if any party won the elections in a non peaceful environment, there would not be peace and Ghana would be the loser at the end.
“Studies have shown that political party youth activists are often the perpetrators of electoral violence; most of them acting out of ignorance of the various regulations governing the conduct of elections,” Mr Dampare said.
He indicated that the aim of the workshop was to equip participants with basic knowledge and skills on non-violence, to enable them to participate both efficiently and ethically in the electoral process.
Mr Victor Nuworkpor, the Upper East Deputy Regional Director of the NCCE, used the opportunity to appeal to women to help propagate the peaceful campaigns as women and children were the most vulnerable in any conflict situations.
He said “It is not good if we start killing ourselves because somebody wants to be a President. Therefore all political and institutional heads should try to educate their people that conflict is not good. It is about convincing the electorate to your side with your ideas but not a fight.”