Peace Council urges youth to ensure peace during elections

A voter casts her ballot in Accra, Ghana, on Dec. 7, 2016. Ghana's general elections began from 7 a.m. (0700 GMT) on Wednesday, with more than 15 million registered voters casting their ballots at 29,000 polling stations across the country. (Xinhua/Shi Song)(gl)

The Chairman of the Western Regional Peace Council, Reverend John Ernest Kwofie, has called on the youth to help prevent violence before, during and after the December polls.

He said peaceful elections had become one of the greatest challenges in Africa and that Ghana was no exception.

Rev Kwofie said while Ghana’s electoral violence might be less severe than in other countries in Sub-Sahara Africa, the country had since 1992 witnessed some form of violence.

He attributed the trend to the increasing use of the youth as political vigilante groups.

The chairman said this at the opening of a two-day workshop dubbed “Dialogue Session on conflict prevention before during and after the 2020 elections,” for some selected youth from hotspots constituencies in the Western Region.

The Workshop, organized by the National Peace Council in collaboration with Ashesi University and funded by the Commonwealth Secretariat, was attended by 30 participants drawn from the Ellembelle, Effia- Kwesimintsim and Essikado-Ketan constituencies.

Rev Kwofie said to ensure peace and violence-free polls, it was imperative to equip the youth with some knowledge on conflict management and also sensitized them on the Roadmap and code of conduct to eradicate the vigilante menace in Ghana.

He said it was expected of the participants’ after the dialogue to become peace ambassadors and to enhance non–violent elections in the December polls.

The chairman said the dialogue also sought to create the needed awareness on the need for peaceful co-existence through the creation of a culture of tolerance and appreciation of the advantages of unity in diversity for sustainable development.

Rev Kwofie assured the participants that, ” your ability to critically analyse situations before reacting on them will improve after this dialogue session ”

He expressed the hope that after the dialogue session the youth would commit towards working to ensure a very peaceful and violence-free general election.

He lauded the Commonwealth Secretariat for funding Programmes and the Ashei University for collaborating with the National Council to train the youth.

Mr Frank Wilson Bodza Deputy Director, Conflict Management and Resolution of the NPC underscored the important role the Commonwealth Secretariat was playing to ensure peace and good governance among its Member States.

He said the Secretariat decided to fund the training as part of its contribution towards peace before, during and after the December polls.

Mr Bodza tasked the participants to help promote peace wherever they find themselves even after the December election.

Mr Damien Asobayire, the Western Regional Executive Secretary of Peace Council, who took the participants through the activities of the Peace Council, said the major mandate of the Council was to ensure peace and peaceful co-existence among the citizenry.

He said the NPC was non-partisan and did not belong to any Political party, nor condemn any party, but only play a mediatory role and ensure peace and unity.

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