The National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party have taken steps to ensure a peaceful environment in the Bawku Central constituency of the Upper East during and after this year’s general elections.
In the bid to consolidate the peaceful environment in the once volatile area, Communication directors of the two parties in the area say they have made peace a key element of their campaign messages ahead of the December 7 general elections.
Bawku has gone through years of conflict attributed to several factors including chieftaincy disputes.
Earlier tensions between the two dominant families, the Mamprusis and Kusaasis have degenerated into inter – community conflicts which have seen the destruction of several properties and displaced some indigenes.
The constituency was in August last year named by the Electoral Commission of Ghana as one of the 81 election flashpoints in the country.
But the Communication Officer of the NDC in the Bawku Central constituency, Faisal Mashud, observed the once volatile environment in the area has become stable, hence the need to consolidate the peace in Bawku.
“For three years now there hasn’t been gunshots in Bawku and we want to maintain the situation” Faisal stated.
He said they have been educating their supporters about the need for peace, saying “We have told them to leave the polling station after they cast their votes and come back for counting…we know we have a lot of messages that will make us win the elections”.
Communication officer of the NPP in Bawku Central, Nurudeen Gumah, said they do not want to see resources being used peacekeepers.
“We don’t want to see our resources used to feed the military” he told TV3. He described Bawku as a mother with different children, saying “Bawku is a cosmopolitan by nature, we have all manner of people and they inter – marry…”
Mr Nurudeen said the NPP has been telling their supporters not to undermine the current peace in Bawku but speak to issues.
“We have been telling our people that politics is not about fight..We have our ideas and so is our opponents..We believe people will buy our idea,” he said.
The Municipal Chief Executive officer for the area, Bukari Issaku said the Assembly is leaving no stone un-turned as far as protecting and sustaining the current peace, noting the amount of money injected into maintaining peace can be used to build infrastructure.
“The amount of money we spend on a day building peace in Bawku can be used to construct a three unit classroom” Mr. Bukari revealed.
He said the Assembly has been meeting with the parties through the inter – party dialogue committee on maintaining the peace in Bawku. Mr Issaku expressed optimism that Bawku Central would go through the elections and come out united notwithstanding political affiliations.
“We want to shame those who say Bawku is a hot spot” he said.