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31.10.2008 Politics

Students urged to ensure peace during elections

By gna

Tertiary students in the country were on Thursday, urged to be agents for the promotion of a peaceful election in their communities.

The Director of Public Education of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Mr Kwaku Baah Owusu, who made the call at a forum on “peaceful elections 2008” at the University of Cape Coast (UCC), stressed that the youth have a role to play in ensuring the maintenance of peace in the country.

The forum, on the theme, “elections 2008 and the tertiary student” was organised by the NCCE with support from the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) and was attended by trainee teachers, nurses and civil education clubs of the UCC.

Speaking on “the tertiary student, an agent for social transformation and sustainable peace in an election year and beyond”, Mr Baah Owusu said the youth must promote peace in their areas.

He said factors that could generate conflict include ignorance, disinformation, mischief, injustice and intolerance.

He said, if they are able to identify these factors, it could calm tempers and help settle issues amicably to avoid chaos and advised that they should endeavour to be truthful, sincere and humble to earn the respect and confidence of society.

Mr Baah Owusu said the election should be free, fair and transparent for it to be credible and echoed calls on the Electoral Commission to ensure that it maintains the trust of the public by conducting a credible election.

The Central Regional police Commander, Mr Akayire Kamparah in a speech read for him, asked both supporters of political parties and the media to refrain from creating the impression that the country was on the verge of war because of some few flash points identified.

The Deputy Chairperson of the NCCE, Mrs Augustina Akumanyi, who presided, said creating a common platform for four of the country's presidential candidates to express their view on issues was a plus for the country's democracy.

She advised the supporters of all political parties to take a cue from the cordial relationship between the candidates and stop creating unnecessary tension in the country.

Mrs Akumanyi also urged the students to play their roles effectively by educating their communities to embrace peace at all times to facilitate the country's progress.