The National Peace Council (NPC) has advised its members not to owe allegiance to any political party, to ensure that they carry out their function of seeking peace for the country without compromise.
Mr Francis Azuimah, Executive Secretary of the Council, gave the advice in Tamale at the weekend during a meeting with the Northern Region Peace Council members to discuss ways of ensuring peace in the Northern Region and the country as a whole before, during and after the 2016 elections.
The meeting was also meant for the members to discuss and adopt measures and other means of approaching and tackling difficult issues in conflict areas, as well as brainstorming on how to improve upon the 2012 elections in terms of peace building messages.
The UNDP and the European Union is supporting the NPC for the three-day programme in the region that seeks to meet with civil society organisations and other identifiable groups to discuss measures of maintaining peace in the country.
Similar programmes would take place in the Upper West Region, Mr Azuimah said, adding: “We as a council have zero interest and intake in the political parties. Our main interest is peace seeking and we must not fail Ghanaians and the world by compromising our values and relinquishing our functions to owe allegiance to politicians and political parties.”
He said the stakes in the impending 2016 elections are high, hence the need for council members not to relent in their efforts to work for peace.
“Though there is no money, we still need to sacrifice and be proactive as a council to have violence-free elections in 2016 as we had in previous elections. If there is no peace in Northern Region, the whole country will not enjoy peace,” he said.
He advised members to call ministers and other state functionaries to order if they go astray, saying, “You have the mandate to monitor utterances of everybody, including ministers and other state functionaries, and call them to order if their actions have the tendency of derailing peace.”
He appealed to Ghanaians not to allow any political party’s ambitions to ruin their happiness.
Mr Azuimah advised the council members to remain truthful, sincere and honest to issues of peace in the country, especially before, during and after the 2016 elections.
He gave the assurance that he would continue to work at the corridors of the finance ministry for the release of funds for council members in the regions to embark on its activities.
Some of the council members expressed their frustrations, including lack of funds to carry out their activities, and indicated that despite the challenges, members were able to meet with butchers and other groups in Bimbilla to discuss peace.