Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, the former chairman of the National Peace Council, cautioned that it is important for citizens to recognise, respect, and tolerate the fact that people are different but can still be able to peacefully co-exist without looking down on each other.
“In tolerating our differences, we must also know we can bring our differences to grow, build and develop the nation so we should not allow ethnocentrism to divide and hinder them from pursuing a common good as a nation,” he asserted.
However, Most Rev. Asante, warned that once the citizenry do not recognise people were different and they needed to be tolerant with one another, use the differences to promote progress, growth and development of the nation, they undermined sustainable peace, unity, harmony and cohesion needed to move the people forward as a nation.
He spoke at the Bono Regional Peace Council’s 2022 International Peace Day commemoration in Sunyani which was under the theme:‘End Racism, Build Peace’ where various other speakers and participants appealed to religious leaders and other leaders in the communities to ensure no impediments were put in the way of people of different culture in their desire to exercise their faiths.
They contended that the coexistence of people in communities would continue forever, and everything should be done to jealously protect it.
Citations were presented to various individuals for their roles in the promotion and sustenance of peace in the region.
Speaking on the topic: ‘Effects of Ethnocentrism on Sustainable Peace in Ghana’, Most Rev. Asante indicated that it would not have to take all Ghanaians to speak the same language and way of dressing before the country could progress, grow and develop because ethnocentrism posed threat to sociality, peace, harmony, cohesion, stability and unity in the country rather than characterised by ethnic diversity and pluralism.
Justina Owusu-Banahene, Bono Regional Minister, observed that peace and security were prerequisite to progress, growth and development, and it was not coincidental most of the least developed, poorest countries and communities were also least peaceful.
“We are all aware of negative impact chieftaincy succession disputes are having on peace, unity, stability and development in the region and as stakeholders we need to collaborate with the Regional Coordinating Council to find lasting solutions to issues undermining the region.
Okokyeredom Sakyi Arko II, Paramount Chief of Drobo, who chaired the occasion, appealed for policies to imbibe in children essence of coexistence, irrespective of one’s tribe, and patriotism and also advised citizens to be mindful of what they said to people of different tribes.