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02.05.2004 Regional News

Ghanaians urged to cultivate culture of tolerance

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Nkoranza (B/A) May 2, GNA - The Most Reverend Matthew Gyamfi, Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, has urged Ghanaians to cultivate the culture of tolerance to enable the country to achieve unity and national integration for the success of democracy.

Bishop Gyamfi was delivering a talk on "National Integration, through tolerance", at the launch of the Brong Ahafo Regional launch of the Fourth Constitutional Week celebration at Nkoranza.

He explained that even though God created mankind to have things in common, "we have obvious differences as a people and there is the need for every individual, irrespective of difference in knowledge, personality, tribe or race, to respect the tradition or views of others".

The Bishop said: "Our differences should not lead us into conflict, strive, insults and fighting as such negative acts have great effect on national development".

Bishop Gyamfi urged members of religious bodies to carry out their programmes such that they would not disturb the activities of other people in the society in order to promote religious tolerance.

He noted that in tolerating each other's views, there would be peace and understanding among the people thereby promoting democracy in the country.

In an address read for him, Nana Kwadwo Seinti, Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, noted "the heavy price that we would pay for intolerance would be the loss of lives and property".

He said Ghana's status as a beacon of peace and stability in the West Africa sub-region must always be safeguarded and geared towards success and attainment of national goals".

Nana Seinti called on the people to avoid negative practices that could derail the success of the December polls as the rest of the world would be watching Ghana.

He commended the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) for their foresight in instituting the annual Constitutional Week programme for the education of the people about their fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Mr Kofi Adomah, Regional Director of NCCE, urged Ghanaians to respect the 1992 Constitution and be disciplined to promote peace, unity and for national development.

He said the NCCE had established Civic Educational Clubs in a number of Junior Secondary Schools to enable the students develop interest in the discussion of national issues.

The regional Director said the NCCE was faced with a number of challenges notably means of transport, logistics and financial support and called on the public, non-governmental organisations to assist the Commission.

The Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area, Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom IV, cautioned the youth against abortion, saying it was an offence against the rights of the unborn child "who must also live and enjoy life as a human being".

The chief called on political leaders to educate their members to tolerate the views of their opponents to ensure free and fair elections in December. 2 May 04

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