’Ghanaian youth urged to avoid election violence’

Reverend Lawrence Kwesi Tete, the Director, Ecumenical and Social Relations, Ga Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana has cautioned the youth to avoid politicians who would attempt to use them to cause mayhem ahead of the December elections.

He advised the youth to be focus and shun any acts of political vigilantism in the lead up to the elections to advance the country’s democratic credentials.

Rev  Tete made the call at the weekend during a youth peace workshop in Accra on the need to promote peace ahead of the impending elections.

The forum brought together leadership of the Young People’s Guild and the Coordinators of the various districts in the Ga Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana to equip them to promote peace at their various congregation and as well design peace project to propagate peace.

He advised the youth to be ambassadors of peace at their various communities and impact positively the knowledge they acquired to others for national development.

‘’We need to live in peaceful co­existence irrespective of religion or tribal background to consolidate the unity and love the country had enjoyed over the years’’, he added.

He encouraged the youth to take their studies seriously and engaged in productive activities that would contribute to the socio-­economic development of the country.

He called for the need to promote inter­party dialogue and disseminate the outcomes with membership of the political parties to understand and act on them.

Mr Emmanuel Kwame Tettey, Research Fellow at the Akrofi­ Christaller Institute of Theology, Mission and Culture, urged the Presbyterian Church to pay attention to both the spiritual and social needs of the members.

He expressed concern about increase in religious radicalism, including terrorism, and false prophets, leading to a negative image about the Church.

 ‘We have a group of young people who are angry and hungry because they are unemployed and frustrated and as well exposed to global issues, making them to struggle with decision making”, he said.

Mr Dominic Kulariba, an International Conflict Management Facilitator, touching on Conflict Management among the youth, said it was imperative to be united and tolerate one another for peaceful co­existence, adding that there cannot be development without peace.

He charged the youth to be vigilant and not engaged in hasty conclusions on issues but rather conduct thorough analysis before taking decisions in order to avoid violence.

Relatedly, a research conducted by the Centre for Democratic Development Ghana on electoral violence and political vigilantism has suggested the training of the youth as peace ambassadors in hotspot communities to prevent political violence.

The training, according to the report, would empower them to be interested in peaceful outcomes in their communities instead of using them as tools to perpetuate violence.

He called for continuous education on peace and creation of sustainable jobs for the youth since most of the political violence and vigilantism were committed by idle youth.


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