Mr Ambrose Dery, the Minister of the Interior said, the lack of peace can affect foreign investor confidence in the country, thus militating against government’s policy of creating the enabling environment for job creation.
Mr Dery said this at the media launch of the Ghana Peace Awards (GPA) in Accra, which was on the theme: “A Peaceful Ghana; One People – Working Together.”
He said peace and to a large extent, security were requisites for development, which could not be comprised. He said even though there had been pockets of ethnic and religious conflicts, Ghanaians had co-existed peacefully as people.
“With our family system, communal spirit and values have been the driving force for the socio-economic developments in our cities, towns and small villages,” he added.
The Minister said it was worrying to see a surge in acts that threatened the peace and security of the communities and to a large extent the country.
He said: “Acts such as chieftaincy disputes, clashes between political supporters, tribal conflicts as well as the recent phenomena of lands guards, vigilantism and mob justice, which tends to create divisions among us as one people have grave negative effects on the country’s development.”
Mr Dery said apart from the impact on human capital, physical infrastructure, and economic activities were also affected since funds earmarked for development projects often had to be diverted to maintain the security needs thereby putting a strain on the ability of government to provide other essential public amenities and services as education and health.
He cautioned that any person, group or community who engaged in acts that would undermine the country’s internal security would be dealt with in accordance with the laws of the country irrespective of the personality, tribe, party the person or association the person was perceived to belong.
The Minister challenged the National Security and others to work as required to maintain law and order since the respect for the rule of law and due process were important for the sustenance of democracy.
“We must collectively work towards the elimination of mob justice, vigilantism, political violence, chieftaincy disputes, lands disputes and other acts that can threaten the peace of the country,” he said.
Reverend Professor Emmanuel Nash, Manager (GPA) said, the main event, which would be held on October 28, at the Banquet Hall in Accra would honour the new breed of the Ghanaian and African leaders, activists, artists, entrepreneurs and business solving problems.
He said the nominees had always represented a cross-section of organisations, startups and young talents and it was one of the most sought-after award shows featuring Ghana Peace Awards worldwide.
“GPA will prove to be as competitive as we have been reputed as Africa’s most respected leadership platform and it gives Ghana and Africa a voice in identifying and elevating individuals and companies that they most support,” he added.
Professor Nash said the awards would also recognise the leadership impact of individuals and organisations that had made outstanding difference in the country thereby creating opportunities for people in the local communities and promoting peace as well.
Reverend Stephen Domelevo, the chairperson for the event called on religious and traditional leaders to educate their members about mob justice and the divisions it brings to the community and the country as a whole.
“We must honour and respect each other’s views and opinions, we may disagree but always remember to offer respect for each person’s life and dignity,” he added.
The Minister together with other dignitaries officially launched the awards.