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Volta and Oti Residents commended for effective collaboration in NPC’s dialogue

Reverend Dr Ernest Adu Gyamfia,

Reverend Dr Ernest Adu Gyamfia, Board Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), has commended the people of Volta and Oti Regions for their effective collaboration and frank conversations during the Council’s last year dialogue exercise.

The Council, between July and August last year, embarked on a series of dialogue in the Volta and Oti Regions to discuss claims of discrimination against people in the two regions and to promote national cohesion and peaceful coexistence.

The exercise, held in 18 communities, documented the origin, nature and most noticeable or important things that informed the claim of discrimination and its implications for national unity.

Reverend Dr Adu Gyamfia, speaking at the opening of a two-day conference to discuss the report generated from last year’s dialogue, described the exercise as educative, informative and resourceful to the NPC and all relevant stakeholders in championing the peace not only for the generation but for generations to come.

The Board Chairman said the struggle for peace was a collective responsibility of all citizens, urging all to continue to promote the values of respect for each other, good neighbourliness, tolerance for divergent views and peaceful coexistence.

He said Ghana embraced diversity, tolerance and peaceful coexistence since independence and it was in its furtherance that the constitution obliged the state to promote the integration of the people of the country and prohibited discrimination and prejudices on the grounds of place of origin, circumstances of birth, ethnic origin, gender or religion, creed or other beliefs.

Reverend Adu Gyamfia said the objectives of the conference was to promote peace and encourage peaceful coexistence between different ethnic groups, create a platform for participants to discuss and dialogue for mutual understanding.

It was also to encourage participants to seek dialogue as the first option to solving any conflict and the importance of love and tolerance in the building up of human societies.

The Board Chairman said the NPC’s doors were opened for discussions and they would be glad to constantly engage the populace to secure the peace and security of the country.

He said, ”we cannot as humans embark upon any meaningful development or enjoy the fruits thereof, in the absence of peace,” and entreated the citizens to cherish the prevailing peace and endeavour to sustain it.

Dr Archibald Yao Letsa, Volta Regional Minister, said the country’s international recognition as an oasis of peace in an otherwise violent regional neighbourhood continued to grow despite the fast-approaching imminent threat of violence from terrorists and violent extremist groups.

He said though the dynamics of the present violence in the West African sub-region might be different from those of the 1990s, they were still linked to the perception of identity-based discrimination and marginalisation in one way or another.

“Claims of marginalization in many of our troubled neighbouring countries have been allowed to escalate into violence because those who feel marginalised and discriminated against were not allowed to tell their stories and experiences, let alone to have such claims documented and addressed.”

“I am, therefore, excited to note that during my tenure as the Volta Regional Minister, a State institution has managed to conduct the first-ever structured appreciative inquiry into the issues underpinning this long-held perception of discrimination and marginalisation in a bid to make recommendations for Government to address.”

Most Revered Emmanuel Fianu, Leader of the Dialogues underscored the need for each and everyone to work unceasingly for peace in all areas “where we live if we want to have a cohesive nation.”

He noted that the Council undertook the safe and structured dialogue in line with its mandate of facilitating the development of mechanisms for cooperation among all relevant stakeholders in peace building in the country.

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