The Northern Regional Office of the National Peace Council (NPC) has equipped some youth groups with peace building skills as part of efforts to ensure harmony before, during and after the 2020 elections.
Participants were drawn from the Karaga and Tolon districts, which were identified as hotspots for possible violence by security agencies in the Northern Region in this electioneering period.
The two-day workshop, held in Tamale, was to enable the Council to build the capacities of the youth in conflict prevention mechanisms to contribute their quota to preserving peace before, during and after the upcoming general election.
It was titled; “Dialogue session with the youth in selected ‘hotspots’ on conflict prevention before, during and after 2020 elections,” and supported by the Commonwealth.
Mr Frank Okyere, Head of Programmes at the Kofi Annan International Peace Keeping Training Centre, who facilitated the workshop, took participants through the Code of Conduct for Political Parties and the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (ACT 999).
He said any action or threat of violence by persons of a political party was classified as vigilantism, which attracted severe punishment, and urged the participants to resist engaging in such acts.
He said the country’s peace was paramount, and asked them to effectively play their roles to ensure adherence to laid down measures in preserving the peace and stability of the country.
Most Reverend Father Thaddeus Kuusah, the Executive Secretary of the Northern Region NPC, said the workshop was to inculcate discipline in the youth to serve as peace ambassadors to promote unity and tolerance among residents in their communities.
“Election is a competitive process and I am urging all individuals who will feel dissatisfied with however the outcome will be, to resort to using dialogues and not violence in resolving their differences to sustain the peace we are enjoying now”, he said.
Ms Alhassan Rashida, a participant from the Karaga District, in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, said she had been enlightened on peace building mechanisms and would impart it to residents in her community for successful elections.
Mr Abdul-Rahman Abdul-Fataw, a participant from the Tolon District, commended the NPC and its partners for the workshop and said he had received the information needed to prevent violence or conflict among citizens and pledged his commitment to supporting the peace agenda in his community.