The President of the West Africa Action Network on Small Arms (WAANSA), Mr. Baffour Dokyi Amoa, has called on youth leaders in communities and in various political parties, to advise their supporters that they should keep in their minds Ghana is their only country.
According to the President, the youth should not allow their energies to be misused, but rather channel them into building the country for their own future benefit.
Mr. Dokyi Amoa made this comment when he presented 20,000 posters, worth $32,000 to the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) in Accra, to be used to campaign for violent-free elections.
The posters, which carry messages such as “Ballot to build the nation;” “Do not Bullet to destroy it;” “Say yes to Elections without Guns, because bullet destroys, but ballot decides peacefully;” “We need peace to develop;” “Avoid misuse of small arms and light weapons.” and “Help fight proliferation of small arms and light weapons,” would be distributed to all the regions.
The President pointed out that with barely a month to go to the elections, WAANSA believed that it was time to act positively and peacefully, therefore people should be educated not to act in ways that would cause offense.
He indicated that people should be advised not to make provocative pronouncements, or conduct themselves in ways that would satisfy their self-fulfilling prophecies.
Speaking on the dangers of small arms and light weapons, Mr. Dokyi Amoa pointed out that over two hundred illicit arms were circulating in the country, and the need to avoid using such weapons at any time, especially during and after the election.
He recounted the unfortunate incidents at Fadama in the Greater Accra, and Bawku in the Upper East regions, have reawakened the fear of the presence of illicit small arms and light weapons, and urged those in possession of them, to be magnanimous and submit them to the security forces.
He called on the Inter Party Action Committee (IPAC) and the Electoral Commission (EC) to deepen their conversations, so that the confidence-building efforts the country was witnessing, would reach its peak, and make all of us trust the outcome of the December elections.
The president urged all Ghanaians to repeat the poster messages every morning to one another for greater impact.
Receiving the posters on behalf of the NCCE, Mr. Bawn Amoafo, Chairman of NCCE Programmes, commended WAANSA for their contribution towards their efforts to educate the electorate on peaceful elections.
He said the posters would be added to some of the readily available materials in possession of the NCCE, to educate the electorate on the importance of peaceful elections.