Accra, Nov. 22, GNA - President John Agyekum Kufuor on Monday asked Ghanaians not to engage in acts that could bring about conflicts but should rather ensure that next month's elections were conducted in a peaceful atmosphere.
This was contained in a speech read for him by Mr Hackman Owusu Agyeman, Minister of the Interior at a Peace Dinner in Accra.
The dinner, organised by Anti-Conflict Foundation (ACF), a nongovernmental organisation (NGO), was to bring leaders of the various political parties to demonstrate to Ghanaians the need for peace and tolerance in the run-up to Election 2004.
President Kufuor said the coming elections should serve as an opportunity for Ghanaians to demonstrate to the international community that Ghana was a peaceful country in the West African Sub-Region. Ms Joanna Mensah, Executive Director of the Foundation, said peace and security were paramount to the development of every nation. "Without peace and security, energy development will be non-existent," she said adding that change agents were unwilling to invest time, energy and resources in an atmosphere of war, conflict and insecurity.
Ms Mensah appealed to Ghanaians to put aside ethnic affiliations and strive to put the nation's welfare first.
"The stains of conflict are difficult to erase even after years of resolution."
She said: "As December 7, general election draws near, we all have the responsibility to spread the gospel of peace and also sing together the peace song as one people with a common destiny."
The Most Reverend Dr Justice Akrofi, Anglican Archbishop of the Province of West Africa, asked politicians not to use provocative language and insults on their opponents.
Mr Ibrahim Omar, Dean of the Diplomatic Corp and Palestinian Ambassador, emphasized that political and cultural diversity should not generate into conflicts.
Present at the dinner were some political party representatives, including Mr Eddie Annan, Third Vice President of the New Patriotic Party; Ms Frances Asiam, Women Organiser of the National Democratic Congress; Dr Edmond Delle, Chairman of the Convention People's Party and Alhaji Ahmed Ramadan, First Vice-Chairman of the People's National Convention.