Buipe, (N/R), April 16, GNA - Dr Kwame Addo Kufuor, Minister of Defence, has urged the youth to direct their energies towards education, especially in the acquisition of some trade or vocation to add value to themselves and prepare them for the future.
He appealed to the youth to regard this time of their lives as a period for physical, intellectual and spiritual development and preparation for the future and avoid engaging in conflicts. "By saying this, I am by no means suggesting that you should not make yourselves heard. You must make your views known but please do so in an atmosphere of peace and be prepared to accommodate divergent views", he pointed out.
Dr Addo Kufuor gave the advice at the 30th annual congress of the Gonjaland Youth Association forum at Buipe on Saturday, on the theme: "Emerging chieftaincy disputes in Gonjaland - The role of the youth". The Association is multi ethnic and multi cultural, comprising about 22 different ethnic groupings resident in Gonjaland with the main objective of fostering peace and unity among the people.
Dr Addo Kufuor, who was the guest speaker at the forum, noted that the theme for the celebrations suggested that the members of the Association were aware of the dangers posed by recurrent chieftaincy disputes in Gonjaland.
He said: "This trend if not checked will undermine the revered traditional institutions and procedures used in selection and enskinment of chiefs in the area".
The Defence Minister told the people to maintain peace for sustainable development and avoid all forms of disputes and conflicts, noting: "These activities stall development and divert available scarce resource for the maintenance of peace and security".
Dr Addo Kufuor urged chiefs in Gonjaland to always follow the laid down procedures for the selection and enskinment of chiefs without any deviation, adding: "procedures must not be deviated from without very good reason, much thought, deliberation and consensus".
He urged the chiefs to pursue peace with all the means at their disposal in order to leave a lasting legacy for future generations. "The future and destiny of Gonjaland lies with you, let the pursuit of brotherliness, dialogue, education and peace be your aim to ensure development and prosperity in Gonjaland", he said.