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04.12.2004 Regional News

Youth and NGOs in Tamale match for peaceful elections

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Tamale, Dec. 4, GNA - Hundreds of enthusiastic youth, including school children and political party representatives from the Tamale Metropolis on Friday marched through the principal streets of Tamale in support of peaceful, free and fair elections in December 7.

The maestro Abedi Ayew Pele, former star of the Black Stars and other football stars, including George Opon Weah, former World Best player from Liberia who, were expected to join the match could not join the processing due to late arrival.

The students, who converged at the Tamale Regional police park could not hide their joy when they set eyes on the football stars inside their vehicle.

The National Commission for Civic Education and NGOs working on conflict resolution in the Northern Region organised the walk. Addressing the students after the street march Mr. Ephariam Oko Barakatu, Northern Regional Police commander appealed to the people of Dagbon to showcase maturity, tolerance and law-abiding during the elections to promote perpetual peace.

He said the people and their political leaders should work tirelessly to ensure that events that led to the imposition of the state of the emergency in Dagbon do not occur any longer.

Mr Barakatu said there was the need to map out relationships in the management of conflicts in the region so as to build sustainable peace and gave the assurance that Northern Regional Police Command would do every thing possible to ensure that the lives of the people before, during and after the elections were protected.

Rev. Father Thaddeus Kuusah, chairman of the Northern Region Peace Advocacy Council (NORPAC) called on youth chiefs in the region to play collaborative roles to ensure that peace prevailed during and after the elections.

Mr Ozonnia Ojielo, Peace and Governance Advisor, United Nations Development Programmes (UNDP), who are the main sponsors of the march, indicated some neighbouring countries were rocked with continuous violence and called Ghanaians to show maturity during the elections. He said the UNDP had confidence in Ghana's democracy and that Dagbon was going to be a lens which the international community would use to measure peace in the country after the elections.

He commended the organisers for the march and that the UNDP would continue to support such programmes to promote peace and unity to build a unified Ghana.

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