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Politics Fri, 7 Sep 2012

Millions to make historic march to demand peaceful elections

The biggest-ever national Peace-March to be held concurrently across all regions of Ghana to further create the need for all to press for peaceful elections in December, is slated for November 10th 2012.

The event, christened: “GH March4Peace”, aims at mobilising one million people, especially the youth out on the streets of the ten regions of Ghana to march to call for peace and “to register in the minds of the politician that Ghana is greater and more important to the citizenry than any parochial, personal or political party interest.”

Peaceful Spirit International, a non-profit and politically neutral organisation is organising the march in collaboration with the National Peace Council, a body established by an act of parliament to facilitate and develop mechanism for conflict prevention, management, resolution and sustainable peace in the country.

A statement signed by Nii Odoi-Nukpa Okerchiri, Chief Executive, Peaceful Spirit International on Friday, said the event intended to invoke the Ghanaian sense of pride, patriotism, selflessness and the strong desire to make a significant contribution towards nation building.

He said these values were exhibited by great heroes like Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, J.B. Danquah, Ako Adjei and many others, who contributed in diverse ways to lay the foundational pillars of what we now call Mother Ghana. “GH March4Peace also aims to remind Ghanaians that it is time for each and every one of us to contribute our bit to our dear country, as the words of the Ephraim Amu’s ‘yen ara asasi ni’ says.”

Other supporters of the march include local and international institutions, political groupings, civil society groups, the media, musicians, soccer fans and Ghanaians from all walks of life.

“2012 is an election year and the country is bound to witness a lot of political party activities. Already the political temperature is heated with many activists making unsavoury remarks flaming passions and causing unnecessary tensions and insecurity.

“The recent ethnic conflicts in certain parts of the country and the kind of unpalatable and illogical analysis people are making on airwaves, should tell us as Ghanaians, especially the youth, who hold the future, of the need to lead the crusade for peace before, during and after the general elections making sure that we ourselves do not become agents and or victims of violence in whatever form,” the statement said.

The decision to march for peace originates form a simple idea on Facebook, which today has assumed a national and international dimension with many individuals, groups and international organisations sharing fantastic ideas and declaring their unflinching support in various forms.

“We need to make a walking statement now! The much awaited peace march will demonstrate to the world, the will and wishes of the Ghanaian intelligent electorate and sound a strong message to the political parties and cronies that our votes will not come from spewing out intemperate language or from divisive machinations.

“Peace in Ghana is more important to us the citizenry than the outcome of an election. We can’t afford to become refugees. Politicians must conduct themselves in a manner that will inure to a peaceful electioneering campaign and making mother Ghana’s interest the most important campaign message,” Nii Odoi-Nukpa Okerchiri noted.

The organisation is therefore rallying groups and individuals irrespective of race, colour, religion or nationality to promote and defend this all important national course.

Peaceful Spirit supports the efforts being made by the National Peace Council, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) in collaboration with the Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI) towards sensitizing politicians on the need for peaceful elections.

“We agree that educating people to understand the various stages of the electoral process…will go a long way to encourage responsible behavior and create the needed awareness and commitment for ensuring peaceful elections.” “It is important for all to accept to live in peace and harmony regardless of our differences in opinions. Political activists should be mindful of their pronouncements and refrain from acts that could trigger security challenges,” Nii Okerchiri said.

“We urged the Ghana Police Service to remain politically neutral and uphold a high sense of professionalism in the performance of their duties, especially as the elections draw nigh.

“If truly our politicians say they all love this nation then we the members of Peaceful Spirit International and the National Peace Council want them to engage in healthy political discourse devoid of insults, innuendos and vilification of their opponents. They should play by the rules of decency and integrity, as they seek to win the mandate of the people to govern,” the statement said.

Source: GNA