By Kodjo Adams, GNA
Accra, Dec.6, GNA – Mrs Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the ECOWAS Chief Election Observer to Ghana, has urged the youth to be peace ambassadors and not engage in violent activities ahead of the Monday December 7, elections.
She said Ghana had a record of peace, transparent and credible elections and urged all especially the youth to demonstrate these values and promote peace in the Presidential and Parliamentary polls.
Mrs Sirleaf gave the advice on Sunday at a peace conference in Accra organised by the Women’s Situation Room (WSR) Ghana and supported by the African Women’s Development Fund.
She acknowledged the importance of elections in accessing the quality of a country’s governance system, stressing that it was a reflection of the right of citizens to choose their leaders in a democratic dispensation.
Mrs Sirleaf urged the youth not to allow the politicians to use them to foment troubles before, during and after the December 7, elections.
She said Ghana had an enviable record of political maturity and it was incumbent for stakeholders to ensure free, transparent and credible peaceful elections.
Mrs Sirleaf, who was the former President of Liberia and the Champion of the WSR, said peace was key in the development of any country and called on the Ghanaian youth to demonstrate the country’s democratic values for the December 7 elections.
She said 65 per cent of the African population were within the age of 15 to 25, adding that the future for the leadership of the continent rested on the youth.
Dr Yvette Chesson-Wureh, the Initiator of the WSR, said the WSR was a peace-building project that empowered women to be the leading force for democratic and peaceful elections.
As a result of its demonstrated effectiveness in preventing and mitigating election-related violence in Liberia, she said the WSR was adopted as a best practice in Africa at the Africa Union summit in January 2012.
“The WSR is a real-time and progressive process that works with communities in advocating, mediating and intervening in violent and tense situations during elections in countries where it’s situated,” she said.
She said the process was first used during the 2011 elections in Liberia and had since been successfully replicated in Kenya, Senegal and Sierra Leone and Ghana in 2016 elections.
Ms Gifty Mensah, the WSR International Coordinator, said their outfit had trained women group and the disadvantaged youth in communities across Ghana to educate them to be peaceful and the need to eschew election-related violence.
She entreated all political parties to avoid all forms of acrimony among themselves in the name of politics and forge ahead as one nation in order to maintain peace and tranquility in the country.
Mr Christopher Kevin Asima, a youth leader, said the peace of Ghana was in the hands of the youth and it was imperative to sustain and consolidate these credentials before, during and after the polls.
He said the youth had engaged in educational activities across the country to preach peace ahead of the elections and was elated with the way Ghanaian youth embraced the initiative.
The youth presented a peace torch to the ECOWAS Chief Election Observer to Ghana as part of their commitment to peace ahead of the December 7 polls.