Ho, July 28, GNA – The Volta Regional Secretariat of the National Peace Council in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Electoral Commission (EC) has held forum on prevention and management of electoral violence.The event took place in nine communities.
The forum, which was funded by USAID through the UNDP, were held at Dzodze, Keta, Ho, Hohoe, Kpando, Kpeve, Kete Krachi, Nkwanta and Kpezde communities.
It attracted religious leaders, district chief executives and assembly members, members of civil society organisations, community based organisations and other identifiable groups as well as youths and people with disability.
As part of the forum, anti-violence documentaries were screened to participants and peace messages were shared.
There was also and voter and civic education conducted by officials from the NCCE and the EC.
The Chairperson of the National Peace Council Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante in a video message called on Ghanaians to see the forthcoming election as a peaceful event for the citizenry to exercise their democratic rights.
The Chairperson of the Regional Peace Council Board, Reverend Monsignor Anthony Kofi Anane Kornu in an address read on his behalf, reminded the participants of the mandate of the Council, which he said is to facilitate and develop mechanisms to prevent, manage and resolve conflicts and to build sustainable peace in the country.
He indicated that one of the Council’s strategic objectives is the prevention and management of electoral violence, which had informed the forum.
“We hope that through dissemination of peace messages, and civic and voter education, the generality of Ghanaians especially political party activists will be more tolerant and civil during the electioneering… to ensure that the elections are peaceful,” he said.
The Regional Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council, Mr David Normanyo, disclosed that Ghana is ranked 44th most peaceful country out of 163 countries on the Global Peace Index and indicated that any speck of violence before, during and after the elections would draw the nation back.
He informed participants that in 2015, the cost of violence was 13.3 per cent of world GDP – $ 13.6 trillion – which translated to $ 1,876 to every person in the world.
Mr Normanyo entreated the participants to always choose non-violent responses to address any conflict situations that may confront them in their daily life.
“It will not be easy but we must have the courage to be strong in order to be nonviolent. As human beings, our life is short and irreplaceable; we have nothing but each other and cannot afford to destroy all that we have,” he added.
The Regional Director of NCCE Mr Kenneth Kponor urged the stakeholders in the electioneering process to be fair and transparent in the discharge of their duties.
He said for the country to sustain its enviable democratic credentials, all must exhibit greater level of tolerance in the face of extreme provocations.