Peace must not be taken for-granted, says Ghanian Minister at launch of ‘Silencing the Guns’
By Emmanuel Todd, GNA
Accra, March 5, GNA – Mr Kojo Oppong Nkrumah, Minister of Information on Thursday urged Ghanaians not to take for granted the peace and stability enjoyed in the country, while approaching the December general election.
He said to improve the quality of lives of the people and a stable economy, a foundation of peace and tranquility was needed upon which the nation had thrived all these years.
He said this in his address at a peace campaign launch by Jesuit Justice and Ecology Network Africa (JENA) on the theme; “Silence the Guns” to promote the Africans Union’s (AU) 2063 and “Silence the Guns” by 2020 Agenda.
JENA, is a diverse community of faith-inspired Jesuit Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), also known as Social Centres.
The campaign’s target was also to get rid of illegally acquired weapons in Ghana and Africa and promote prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in Africa as part of African Union Agenda 2063.
“Don’t compromise the peace and tranquility we enjoy, upon which our economy is built,” he said.
He said, achieving the AU Agenda did not depend only on government or the AU but a collective effort of all citizens and Africans to champion it, citing that the peace campaign initiative by JENA was commendable and worth emulating.
He said conflicts formed part of everyday life from the home, to office and community; however the methods taken to resolve it was important and violence absolutely was not the way to go.
He assured that the government was committed to ensure that peace prevailed in the country and pledged his support for the peace campaign.
The Reverend Father Charles Chilufya, Director, JENA said the major challenge to peace building in Africa was the fact that some leaders who were expected to drive the peace process cannot be trusted by the people.
He said the leaders had a weak link with the people in terms of the processes leading to assumption of office; some were accused of plundering state resources meant for improving the living standards of the people.
“In the process, they damage their personal credibility; once the personal credibility of a leader is doubted by the people, it becomes difficult for such a leader to have a regime with sound institutional credibility,” he said.
He expressed his gratitude to the Information Minister and prayed that he would continue to support their work for humanity.
Madam Scholastica Barimah, Assisting Coordinator, Ignatian Youth Networks Initiating Generational Outcomes IYNIGO, said JENA was working in partnership with the (IYNIGO), to preach peace as Ghana prepared for Election 2020.
Madam Barimah said the AU Heads of State and Government in 2013 adopted the Silencing the Guns by 2020 initiative as a flagship project that aimed at ending all conflicts in Africa by 2020.
The AU initiative was intended to achieve a conflict-free Africa, prevent genocide, make peace a reality for all and rid the continent of wars, violent conflicts, human rights violations, and humanitarian disasters.
She said, JENA operated under the aegis of the Justice and Ecology Office of the Jesuit Conference of Africa and Madagascar (JCAM).