Members of the Ayawaso North and East branches of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) on Sunday boycotted a peace walk organized by the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) and the Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI).
The walk which was to enable political parties in those areas unite as the general election approaches was sponsored by STAR-Ghana.
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, Alhaji Yussif Fofana, NPP Parliamentary candidate for Ayawaso North constituency, said members of the NPP decided to boycott the peace walk for fear of possible clashes with members of the NDC.
He said the NPP members also boycotted the peace walk in retaliation against the NDC members’ decision to boycott one previously organized by an NGO to bring the two parties together.
He expressed concern about the mounting tension between members of the two parties adding that terrible things might have occurred if NPP members had taken part in the walk.
“I believe this peace walk should have been organised long time ago and not at this moment”, he said.
Addressing the media, Apostle Samuel Yaw Antwi, General Secretary, GPCC, urged the political parties to learn from the collaboration between the two religious organizations.
“We might only might only differ in ideologies and beliefs, but we are all Ghanaians with a common agenda of pursuing peace.”
“As faith-based organizations, we have a God given duty to lead our members and communities to prevent incidences of violence, mitigate the physical impact of violence on individuals and communities”, he added.
He said it was the hope of the GPC that the Electoral Commission would be provided with all it needs for it to function effectively and also called on the judiciary to expeditiously settle political disputes.
He appealed to Ghanaians to cultivate the culture of tolerance in our homes and communities, neighborhoods and constituencies saying, “This is the only way to ensure and guarantee peaceful co-existence between feuding families and parties, ethnic and tribal groups, political parties and religious sects”, he added.
Alhaji Ahmed Nii Nortey, Public Relations Officer, ONCI, said the peace walk was to spread the message of peace within the two constituencies and to create awareness to the people of Nima-Maamobi and its environs on the urgent need for political tolerance and peaceful co-existence for all Ghanaians before, during and after the elections.
A football match which took place at the Kawukudi Park between NDC members from Ayawaso North and Ayawaso East constituencies was won by Ayawaso East members by three goals to two.
A goat each was presented to each constituency for their participation in the event organized by the GPCC and the ONCI.
The walk which started at the Nima Roundabout ended at the Kawukudi Park. GNA