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13.11.2004 General News

Student groups should not be turned into warfare platforms

By GNA

Kumasi, Nov. 13, GNA - University students have been advised not to allow the various groupings on their campuses to be turned into platforms for warfare or violent acts.

Dr Baffour Agyemang-Duah, Associate Executive Director of the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD), who gave the advice, said the use of such groupings to cause mischief and evil on the system only undermines the objective for which such bodies were formed and should therefore be discouraged.

Dr. Agyemang-Duah was speaking at a students' forum on free, fair and peaceful conduct of the December polls, jointly organised in Kumasi on Friday by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Friedrich-Ebert Foundation.

It was organised for students of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and designed to deepen their understanding about the relevance of peaceful elections and their role in achieving such peace in the upcoming general elections.

Dr Agyemang-Duah made it clear that groupings at the universities, be they politically, socially or religious inclined, should rather be regarded and genuinely used for the promotion and sustenance of peace and unity of purpose at all levels.

"Do not allow yourselves or groupings, to be manipulated by self-seeking politicians to either cause mischief or undermine the democratic process, since such negative acts will result in your inheriting an unstable nation, when you eventually assume leadership roles", he stressed.

Dr Agyemang-Duah said as future leaders, students should not only take interest in listening to messages on how to ensure peace during the December polls, but also strive to educate their relations and friends back home on the relevance of peaceful polls.

He said educating their relations about the value of peace during the upcoming elections, is one of the major ways students could contribute their quota to sustenance and development of the country's young democracy.

Dr. Agyemang-Duah stated that peaceful elections were crucial to the proper nurturing and sustenance of any democratic dispensation, hence the need for all organised groups and individuals to join in the crusade to enlighten Ghanaians more about it, rather than shifting it solely to some selected entities.

Mr Kobby Yebo Okrah, Deputy Registrar in-charge of Academic Affairs who presided, commended the NCCE for bringing the forum to the doorsteps of students and hoped more of such interactions would be held to enrich students with stock of knowledge about their civic rights and responsibilities.

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