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04.05.2004 Regional News

Embrace peace for development - Participants urge Chiefs

By GNA

Asutsuare (G/A), May 4, GNA - Participants at the Fourth Annual Constitution Week celebration at Asutsuare on Tuesday appealed to chiefs and religious leaders to create an environment conducive for peace, tolerance and trust throughout the country.

"Traditional Authorities serve as the bedrock for peace, prosperity and economic development and a solace for the protection of individual fundamental rights paramount for Ghana's democratic sustainability."

The Participants including market women, students, traditional leaders, teachers and a cross section of the public were contributing to discussion at forum organised as part of the celebration of the Week at the Dangme West District Assembly at Asutsuare.

Mr Kwao Sackey, District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), said the celebration of the Week was to make the Constitution to become a living document embossed on the minds and hearts of the people for the attainment of democracy and good governance in Ghana.

The Week, May 4 to 8 is under the theme: "National Integration Through Tolerance."

Mr Sackey said over 80 per cent of the population was indirectly governed by traditional rulers but the Constitution failed to recognise it, explaining that in the rural areas traditional affinity superseded State authority and this had been the remote cause of some of the conflicts in the country.

He said: "Ghanaians need to develop the culture of democracy, the courage to resist violation of their human rights and the tenacity to resist dictatorship of all forms and, more particularly and fundamentally any overthrow or attempted overthrow, of government." Mr Sackey noted that the challenge that confronted the nation was how to ensure the strengthening of the cultural base of the Constitution.

Mr Daniel Alimu, District Coordinator for Cooperative League of the United States of America a Community Based Non-Governmental Organisation, who collaborated with NCCE for the District celebration, said tolerance and national integration should form a cardinal part of the democratic development of the country.

He urged the NCCE to develop a collaborative network with other stakeholders to educate the citizenry on their civic rights and responsibilities.

Mr Emmanuel Mensah District Health Officer appealed to the media and traditional authorities to project the peaceful environment at Asutsuare stressing that the period of hostilities were over and that industrious town was back on track for development.

He urged all those, who had fled the town because of a previous conflict, to return home and join the process of reconciliation, rebuilding and promotion of the rich cultural values of the Dangmes. Mr Mensah decried the general apathy towards the educative programmes.

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