Political youth groups including five main political parties within 15 constituencies have signed a peace pact to express and confirm their commitment to ensuring peace before, during and after the December 7 polls.
The participating parties included the Convention People’s Party (CPP), National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party (NPP), Progressive People’s Party (PPP) and People’s National Convention (PNC).
The project dubbed: “Promoting Electoral Integrity in Ghana, 2016 and Beyond” also aimed at encouraging political parties to stand against injustices, impunity, and use of abusive languages that could lead to violence in their constituencies, communities and districts.
It is being implemented by Development Gateway International (De- GAIN) in the Greater Accra Region, Socio Serve Ghana (SSG) in the Eastern Region and Global Action for Women Empowerment (GLOWA) in the Volta Region, and supported by European Union (EU).
In an interview with the Ghana News Agency, after the signing ceremony, Mr Amoah Kwaku Karikari, Co- Executive Director of De- GAIN, noted that there had been a lot of community engagements with the youth groups in the various constituencies.
He explained that these engagements created a common ground for all stakeholders to sign a binding document that would peg them to either promote peace or serve as peace agents in their communities.
The Co- Executive Director said the project began with a familiarization visit and the formation of youth networks, as the facilitators observed that some of the constituencies had youth groups but were not under the National Youth Authority.
“So there was a need to bring them together and this created an opportunity for them to meet regularly, and as well organise programs such as drama to sell ideas of peace within the constituencies,” he added.
He noted that facilitators of the project also organised a similar programme to develop a youth agenda, a document that indicated that the youth were committed in promoting education, health, youth employment and other related issues.
Mr Karikari said the project was crowned with conflict management workshops, which eventually lead to the signing of the peace pact, as such; political parties must use non-violence approach to resolve disputes.
He told the Agency that the event registered participants representing political parties, National Commission for Civic Education, National Youth Authority as well as the various youth networks which include Keepfit clubs and drivers association; from Eastern, Greater Accra, Volta, Ashanti and Western Region.
He said the 15 constituencies includes; Adaklu, Nkwanta North, Ketu South, Lower Manya Krobo, Asuogyaman, Suhum, Amansie West, Offinso North, Sekyere Afram Plians, Tarkwa Nsueam, Sefwi Akontombra, Wassa Amansi East, Cape Coast South, Efutu and Mfantseman.
He said peace was valuable, however if peace would prevail there should be justice.
“The stakeholders of elections particularly the Electoral Commission and Security Agencies must apply the legislative instruments managing the elections,” he said. “Let us all go by the rules,” he added.
Part of the peace pact document reads: “We, the undersigned individuals representing our political parties and youth groups in 15 constituencies for the aforementioned project, having participated in the capacity building workshop on conflict and conflict resolution, violence prevention and communication by De-GAIN, in order to engage us in ensuring a peaceful democratic elections and a political process thereafter that serves the national good”. GNA