Mr. Kwesi Pratt Jnr, Managing Editor of Insight Newspaper, has called on politicians to stop inciting one political party against the other and help improve the living standards of the people.
He said politicians have failed to address the basic solutions to the country's economic woes by engaging in ethnic and religious conflicts which they use to gain political advantage during elections.
Mr. Pratt said this when addressing participants at a day's seminar organised by Youth for Peace Group on the theme: “Empowering the Youth Towards Peaceful Election 2012”.
“The call for peace should go beyond the impending elections for peace to transcend through the ages,” Mr. Pratt said.
He said whiles the colonial administration had set the pace for development, subsequent governments had perpetuated themselves in power to promote their selfish interest.
Mr. Pratt expressed appreciation for Ministers of the Gospel who participated in the seminar because they had been influential in advocating for peace in world politics since the 14th Century.
“Peace is not the absence of war because if people cannot afford a square meal a day, have no access to health care, no job for the youth, it is no peace,” he added.
Mr. Pratt said elections continue to enrich a small segment of the population whereas the major problems of the country had not been addressed.
Mr. Avornyo Sheriff, President of Youth for Peace Group, said the youth were major stakeholders who were often used as tools in gaining political power.
He appealed to the youth not to follow blindly and get corrupted by the activities of some greedy politicians, but rather ask questions and debate on issues.
Mr. Sheriff said the youth had the right of belonging to any political party of their choice, but must see themselves as one people fighting for a common purpose, which is the peace of the nation.
He urged politicians and political parties to equip the youth with relevant skills that would allow them to resist attempts of manipulation.
Reverend Nana Yaa Owusu Prempeh, Executive Director of Spirit, Soul and Body Workshop, appealed to the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), media, political parties, Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) and all stakeholders seeking the peace of the country, to set standards for checks and balances to hold anyone accountable for any utterances that might cause chaos in the country.
“People have to be responsible for what they say because your words are you and you are what you say,” she added.
She said it was her desire to see the youth gainfully employed without looking up to the Government.
Rev. Prempeh called on the youth to refuse favours from politicians who would want to involve them in any form of violence against another political party and called on foreigners to respect the laws of the country.**