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27.03.2012 Politics

Youth Must Lead Campaign For Peaceful Elections

By Dominic Moses Awiah - Daily Graphic
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With nine months to election 2012, Political parties have charged the youth to lead the campaign for peaceful elections by resisting attempts from corrupt politicians.

They explained that in many of the African countries where political coup d’etat or war had brought the development of those countries to a halt, the youth were mainly the engine used to start them.

Speaking at a youth forum organised by the University of Ghana City campus Student Representative Council in Accra, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Progressive Peoples Party (PPP) and People’s National Convention (PNC), all urged the youth, not to allow politicians to engage them in anything that would negatively affect the 2012 general elections.

The event, which was organised in collaboration with the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, was to educate the youth and intensify the peace messages.

The programme attracted more than 200 youth with the majority being females.

The parties also urged politicians to refrain from engaging the youth, particularly, those from the Zongo communities, in violence.

Speaking on behalf of the NPP, the Deputy ranking member of communication, Mrs Catherine Afeku, tasked the various youth organisers to take over the campaign at the grassroots level and at the various constituencies, noting that the party’s flag-bearer, Nana Akufo-Addo, was depending largely on the youth and specifically the party to win the presidential race and also an overwhelming majority in parliament in this year’s election.

She said the youth, who formed the core of Ghana’s population, must use their energy to champion peace through, “a collective decision to boycott activities that could truncate the peace and the unity in the country’’.

Mrs Afeku, who doubles as the Member of Parliament (MP) of Evalue Gwira constituency in the Western Region, urged the youth to eschew selfish attitudes that may sacrifice their steady development for a better future.

For his part, a member of the communication team of PPP, Mr Samuel Kofi Ampah, noted that the key to safeguarding the peace and unity in Ghana was allowing the youth to be part of the decision making processes.

He noted that election 2012 was a moment for the youth to assess each political party’s manifesto to enable them decide which one would benefit them.

To ensure peace and security, he stated that PPP would embrace any political party that would assume the leadership of the country and work with them to push the country’s development forward.

Mr Ampah implored the youth to ask questions and not to simply imbibe anything thrown at them by the politician stressing, “their promises should also include how they intend to achieve them and not just verbal talks’’.

The PNC’s National Youth Organiser, Mr Abu Ramadan, reiterated the need for the youth to use the social media network, such as facebook, text messages to champion peace and unity before, during and after elections.

He explained that many Ghanaians between ages15 and 45 spent most of the time on technology which made it easier for them to reach out to thousands. He said if they could at least in a day use their phone to text peace messages, it would go a long way to educate many people on the need to maintain peace and order.

Mr Ramadan appealed to the women to use their influence on men for them to be disciplined.

A representative of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana, Mr Emmanuel Osei Akyeampong, called on the youth to eschew selfish attitudes that may sacrifice their steady development for a better future.

He said without prayers and self-control from politicians, the youth and the general public, it would be extremely difficult to maintain peace and order in the country.

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