Mr Steve Koku Salakpe, Diocesan Coordinator, Justice and Peace Commission of Ho Catholic Diocese, has asked political actors to conduct their political activities in an atmosphere of peace devoid of violence.
He urged politicians to exhibit a high level of discipline, tolerance and maturity in their campaign.
Mr Salakpe was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency (GNA) at a Town Hall meeting organised by the Catholic Church at Tongor-Dzemeni in the South Dayi District of the Volta Region.
It was on the theme: “Role of Parliament, Local Authorities and Preparatory Governance for Community Development.”
It was an initiative of the Directorate of Governance, Justice and Peace Commission of the National Catholic Secretariat (NCS) of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) with support from Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS).
He said “leadership is the highest form of responsibility”, therefore, as leaders of various political parties they had a responsibility to ensure that the peace and tranquillity of the country was safeguarded at all times.”
Mr Salakpe said many countries across the globe were looking “at us” at this crucial period, therefore, it was necessary to unite and work together to protect the current prevailing peace in the country before, during and after the elections so “we will continue to shine in the committees of nations.”
He called on the youth to behave responsibly as the future leaders of the country and should not yield to any political influence to engage in any lawless act or chaotic activity that could danger their lives and jeopardise the peace of the country.
The programme he said was to sensitise community members on four key roles of a Member of Parliament (MP) which included; representation of the constituency, participation in legislation for the benefit of the constituency and the country, exercise of executive oversight and provision of constituency services.
It also aimed to enlighten the people and relevant stakeholders on the roles of local authorities in community development agenda, and the need for community members to get actively involved in governance and decision making processes and activities tailored at promoting societal growth.
The Church through this initiative was preparing the mind of the electorates to avoid all forms of violence so that the country’s prevailing peace would be maintained before, during and after the December polls, he said, and to address the misconception that community development was solely the responsibility of the MP.
Mr Salakpe disclosed that the Church was carrying out the programme in all its respective Diocese and over 20,000 people were targeted to be sensitised so they could also serve as ambassadors of the initiative to educate other people on the importance of community dialogue engagement to enhance socioeconomic development.
Mr Sena Amedenu Bosson, District Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) urged the people to come out in their numbers to exercise their franchise to elect those who would steer the affairs of the country for the next four years.
He cautioned them against things that would threaten the peace and stability of the country, imploring them to leave the voting centre after casting their ballots as the law stipulated.
Mr Bosson told GNA that his outfit was determined to ensure that the District recorded zero incidence of rejected ballots in this year’s elections, and thus visited Churches, Mosques, schools and identified groups to educate them on how to cast the ballot correctly.
The various parliamentary candidates in the constituency were given the opportunity to share with the constituents their plans and policies regarding advancing socioeconomic development of the area should they be voted into power.