Political parties have been advised to embrace peace in their quest to win political power in order not to compromise the stability of the country.
They should encourage their supporters to desist from all forms of violence irrespective of their grievances and seek redress through laid down procedures to consolidate Ghana’s enviable record as one of the peaceful countries in the sub-region.
Mr. Simon Osei Mensah, Ashanti Regional Minister, who gave the advice, said political parties were heading towards the same goal of improving the lives of Ghanaians, but only have different policies and programmes towards achieving it.
He was speaking at a symposium organised by the Regional Secretariat of the National Peace Council to commemorate the 2023 International Peace Day in Kumasi.
It was attended by stakeholders drawn from youth groups, the Clergy, Muslim leaders, political parties, security agencies and the media on the global theme: ‘Action for Peace: Our Ambition for the Global Goals.’
The Regional Minister said the ambition of every political party was to develop the country so it was imperative for them to join efforts with all stakeholders in the promotion of peace.
He reminded political parties that development and investment could not thrive in places where there was no peace and charged them to be strong advocates for peace as people seeking to govern the nation.
He said parties must endeavour to eschew vigilantism, which had permeated the political landscape and society, saying it was inimical to development.
‘The use of such violent inclined youthful groups has serious implications for the nation resulting in loss of lives, properties and other resources,’ he noted.
He said building and maintaining peace was a collective and shared responsibility and that it could not be achieved without collective efforts and urged the participants to be peace ambassadors in their respective places of work.
Peace and harmony, the Minister said, could never exist in an environment of hatred, adding that conflicts created instability and fear among the citizenry.
Mr Osei Mensah applauded the Regional Peace Council for its role in resolving numerous disputes in the region over the years.
Right Rev. Dr. Nuh Ben Abubekr, Chairman of the Ashanti Regional Peace Council, said the objective of the symposium was to strengthen the ideals of peace through lectures on non-violent strategies and peaceful co-existence.
He said it was imperative for people to understand that conflict was a form of tension arising from opposition actions, cause, opinions and feelings which required a lot of tolerance to overcome.
‘As the socio-political structures in the nation have failed to properly address newly arising conflicts, the necessity for new methods to promote peace in the nation is clear,’ he argued.
He said limited job opportunities, challenging economic circumstances and extremist threats were unsettling young people and stressed the need to support government initiatives to lessen dangers to peace and security.
Baffour Owusu Bediako, Paramount Chief of Domeabra, who chaired the programme, spoke about the need for the current generation to improve the peaceful and sustainable environment.
He encouraged the Electoral Commission to continue its engagement with all major stakeholders in the on-going limited voter registration to address the concerns raised to ensure a peaceful process.
Source: Ghana News Agency