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14.09.2004 Regional News

Religious leaders urged to ensure peace, tolerance

By GNA

Sunyani B/A Sept. 14, GNA - Mr. Kofi Adomah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of National Commission for Civic Education, on Tuesday called on religious leaders to ensure peace as the country approached the 2004 General Election. He said since religious leaders were to some degree the embodiment of the will of the people, they should prevail on politicians and their supporters to conduct themselves well during the election period.

Mr. Adomah was speaking at a forum on political tolerance, organized by the regional office of the Commission for religious leaders in the Sunyani Municipality, under the theme, "Tolerance for peaceful elections-the role of stakeholders". He said: " There is the need for pastors, Imams and traditionalists to educated the people on the need for political tolerance to promote peace and tranquillity before, during and after the December elections", he said.

Mr Adomah urged religious leaders to be politically neutral and political parties to organize seminars, symposia and other programmes to educate their supporters their codes of conduct, political party laws and other electoral legislations. He said: "This will ensure that supporters of political parties tolerant their opponents to avoid antagonism, intimidation, use of 'machomen' to cause mayhem Mr. Adomah said. He appealed to the media to intensify its education on democracy and report more on development issues instead of sensationalism which could sow seeds of discord amongst the people. Mr Adomah advised the youth to reject politicians who would woo them with gifts and ask them to create confusion during the elections.

Nana Kwasi Gyan Gyau 111, Atipimhene of Berekum Traditional Area, called on FM stations to ensure that they employed trained journalists, "since phone-in programmes continue to pose a threat to peace in the country". Mr. Kinsford Ohene Gyaase, Sunyani, Municipal Director of the Commission, admonished religious leaders to promote peace for national development.

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