Political parties have been urged to inculcate in their manifestos strategies that will help sustain the peace of the country in the long term.
This could be done by including in their manifestos compulsory non-violent educational programmes to be taught at the senior high schools and tertiary institutions.
The founding president of Youth Icons Ghana, a peace advocacy civic organisation, Nana Yaw Osei-Darkwa, made the suggestion during an interview with the Times in Accra, yesterday.
“We must see peace as an area of investment and not a product of wishful thinking.
I am yet to find in any of the political parties’ manifestos a strategy to help sustain the peace of Ghana in a more creative and sustainable way like officially adopting a one week introduction to non violent education as a mandatory programme as part of orientation for first year students of senior high schools or first year university students,” he stated.
He noted that Ghanaians should understand that peace is a national goal which required the collective effort of all citizens to achieve.
Nana Osei-Darkwa, said peace should not only be preached during the electioneering periods when the political temperature in the country reaches its heights.
“Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of equity, justice and respect for each other as fellow humans leading to the building of a beloved community as the framework for the future,” he noted.
He said there was the need for political leaders and all major stakeholders in the upcoming elections to appreciate the fact that although it was good to admonish people to remain peaceful, a lot more had to be done in achieving the goals of peace.
“If we feel strongly that the peace of our nation is threatened because we are going to the polls to choose our leaders, then we are inherently admitting that there are issues we need to address to ensure that those fears are done away with.
What would make a civil and noble exercise like voting to choose political leaders, turn violent? We all need to speak to this question and address these spot on whatever we think the issues are,” he said.
Nana Osei-Darkwa said peace remained the single most important resource Ghana needed and the political elite must appreciate that more than any other citizen because without peace there could be no proper and effective governance and as such every effort must be made to choose peace.
By Ian Motey