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11.11.2008 Education

Sch children in Ashaiman on Peace March

By Richard Attenkah, Tema - Ghanaian Chronicle

Pupils of the St. Mary's Preparatory School at Ashaiman, last Friday embarked on peace march through some principal streets of the newly-created Municipality, to drum home the need for all and sundry to look for peace before and during the forthcoming general elections.

The peace march, which started from the premises of the school, through the St. Peters Methodist Church street towards Valco Flats, through the main Ashaiman Lorry Terminal to the Ashaiman Divisional Police Station street, finally ended at the offices of the Ashaiman Municipal Assembly (ASHMA), where the children presented a petition to the ASHMA Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Albert Boakye-Okyere.

In the deep of affairs were pupils from the Upper Primary of the school, through to the Junior High School (JHS).

Some police personnel, including a dispatch rider and the brass band group from Michel Camp, added some flavour to the march.

The school children wore paraphernalia of the various political parties in contention for this year's general elections, including T-shirts of the various presidential candidates, flags and fliers among others.

In their petition, which was eloquently read on their behalf, by 10 year old Emmanuel Omane Antwi, the school children called on politicians to respect the views of their opponents, and not see them as enemies, adding “Politicians should avoid inciting one tribe against the other.”

Stating that electioneering campaigns should be civil and accommodating, the school children appealed to the Electoral Commission (EC) to play a neutral role in the forthcoming elections, and also cautioned them not to be seen as supporting any group in the race for leadership of the country.

The Ashaiman children further called on the law enforcement agencies, to deal decisively with hooliganism, and must not be seen to be shielding any politician or party supporter, because he or she belongs to a particular political party.

The school children further appealed to the media to be very circumspect in their reportage, adding that media houses should not attempt to announce their own results.

They also called on the youth, not to allow themselves to be used by selfish politicians to cause mayhem during and after the general elections.

The ASHMA boss pledged to convey the sentiments of the school children to the appropriate quarters, and ensure that the appeal of the children, who undoubtedly are the future leaders of this great nation, was disseminated to all and sundry.

He revealed that it was important that politicians accepted the fact that politics was not about war and chaos, but the expression of one's views and opinions, and therefore “If we do not share one's opinion, it does not mean he is an enemy.”

On his part, the Director of the school, Anthony Afenyo, called on the media and securities agencies to help promote peace in Ghana.

He said if there was no peace, there would be no sound environment for us all to live in, and therefore it was necessary for peace to prevail.

According to him, he was motivated to organise the peace march, which has become part of their programme every four years, because without peace, “These wonderful children would not have the opportunity to educate themselves, and we, as adults, cannot go about our normal duties as citizens of this nation.”

Mr. Afenyo advised Ghanaians to be concerned with what was happening in other African countries, so as to protect the peace we are enjoying in the country today.