THE DIRECTOR of the Ecumenical and Social Relations (ESR) of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), Rev. Dr. Solomon Sule Sah has warned that the actions of government and some people that are making Ghanaians feel like aliens is threatening the country‚Äôs peace.
He made this known at a peace workshop organized by the PCG at Akropong Akuapem in the Eastern region for youth representatives of the church and political parties across the country.
Three political parties were present at the workshop. The Convention People‚Äôs Party (CPP) was represented by its tertiary wing; the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was represented by some Eastern regional youth executives whilst the National Democratic Congress (NDC) was represented by some NYEP officers.
Rev. Dr. Sule Sah noted that the activities of the Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country, foreigners engaging in illegal mining, the taking over of the retail business by foreigners, and ejection of Ghanaians from their rented homes and re-rented to foreigners because they offered to pay higher rents were catalysts for violent conflicts.
According to him, one of the underpinning factors that led to the Ivorian political conflict was that the people felt foreigners had taken over their country and dared to resist the perceived political transformation.
The PCG Director said Ghana was dangerously plying on a similar path and called on government, politicians and civil society to collaborate and deal with the issues dispassionately and decisively to avert serious repercussions in future.
He also lamented that whilst the country was bedeviled with armed robbery, unemployment, the Fulani menace and other challenges, politicians seriously engaged in verbal attacks, unproductive arguments and propaganda.
‚ÄúPoliticians should be thinking about bad roads that cripple businesses and scare investors away, Fulani menace, unemployment, injustice in society, making the oil find useful to the citizens, making the citizens enjoy the opportunities in the country and not become aliens in their own lands,‚ÄĚ he opined.
The religious leader called for God‚Äôs intervention in the current spate of murder and violence in homes and the various communities, noting that life had been devalued to the extent that Ghanaians¬†¬†were losing human sensitivity that made us each other‚Äôs keeper.
Speaking on the them, ‚ÄėYouth Violence and Alternative Dispute Resolution‚Äô Prof. Ken Attafua, the Executive Director of William Ofori Atta Institute of Integrity, described ethnic prejudice, unfulfilled promises, lack of confidence in the Electoral Commission and the electoral process, verbal attacks and incitement of political groups against each other as some factors of electoral violence.
He argued that steadfast adherence to the rule of law and ethical standards would salvage the socio-economic and political development of the country.
He called on the youth to subject political leaders to strict proof of integrity in the discharge of their political and social responsibilities if the country were to enjoy social order and accelerated development.
On his part, Rev. Prof. Abraham Berinyuri, from the University of Development Studies, also deplored the culture of verbal attacks on political opponents.
Addressing the participants on the ‚ÄėTenets of Peace and National Unity‚Äô he warned that the images that the some infantile politicians were forming through their actions would determine how they would become in future.
He said stereotyping was the cause of conflicts, stating that Ghanaians should make the effort to understand and appreciate others rather than pretend to know them and understand what they talk about.
‚ÄúIf Ghanaians will seek to understand each other, the problems of this country is half solved, because political parties are just concepts but the actors make it what it is‚ÄĚ, he observed.
Mr. Johnson Opoku, National Deputy Director of programmes of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) also addressed the participants.
¬†FROM Emmanul Ako-Gyima, Kumasi