Yendi, Aug. 10, GNA - The Yendi District Students Union (YENSU) have organised a symposium for political parties, the youth, religious bodies, opinion leaders and students at Yendi.
In his keynote address, the Yendi District Chief Executive, Mr Mohammed Habib Tijani said: "As we prepare feverishly for the 2004 elections, a lot of organisations such as NGOs, government institutions, political parties among others have on several occasions, called for atmosphere of peace and tranquillity, devoid of intimidation and violence."
Mr Tijani said if there was no peaceful co-existence in Ghana, the situation would also have a telling effect on the forthcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
The theme for the symposium was, "The Need for Peaceful Co-existence and Violent Free-Elections."
He urged all political parties and their followers to come to the realisation that, they needed to conduct themselves as law-abiding citizens before during and after the 2004 elections. Speaking on the topics: "The Need for Peaceful Co-existence and Violence-Free-Elections", the Yendi District Co-ordinating Director, Mr Mohammed Asibi Azonko called on the people of Dagbon to "consolidate the peace we are now enjoying through the efforts of the government, the security agents, chiefs and opinion leaders".
Mr Azonko said the only way to maintain a healthy, democratic process was through the ballot box.
He called on Ghanaians to "let us maintain our national pride by maintaining the peace we are having nation-wide". Answering questions from the participants on the role of police to maintain peace in the elections, the Yendi District Police Commander A.S.P Ferguson Y. Dzineku pledged that the police would be unbiased in the performance of their duties.
He reminded the people of Yendi that, the State of Emergency was still in place and anyone who organised a political rally would not be allowed.
Speaking on "Political Tolerance and Democratic Governance in the Forthcoming Elections," the Assistant Civic Education Officer of the NCCE, Mr James Ayaala Abudulai said all well-meaning Ghanaians had placed much emphasis on the cultural of political tolerance, because the culture of tolerance was the key to attract investment and enhance sustainable development.
Mr Ayaala said the rapid flow of foreign investments into Ghana in recent times was because our democratic credentials were encouraging. He said an important example was the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) instituted by the Bush Administration for which, Ghana had been selected to access the fund for socio-economic development.
He said the countries that qualified for the MCA were those that had held democratic tenets and were fully involved in the socio-economic development of their citizens. He mentioned some of the beneficiary countries as Ghana and South Africa.