Superintendent of Police, Imam Hussein Abdul Rahim Hussein, In Charge of Islamic Affairs, Ghana Police Service has called on Zongo chiefs to support the police in ensuring peace, before, during, and after the general elections.
He said as stakeholders, of the community, they must support the police, by proving them with the needed information and by engaging the people in the community to do everything to maintain peace, during and after the elections.
Speaking at a forum organised by the National Council of Zongo Chiefs (NCZC)in partnership with STAR Ghana Foundation, he noted that although the police would do their best in ensuring peaceful elections, the Chiefs must do everything possible on their part to maintain peace in their communities.
The Forum which was aimed at engaging the Chiefs to deliberate on how to ensure peaceful elections at the various Zongo communities, was on the theme, ” Peace, before, during and after the 2020 general elections”.
Supt. Hussein said it was important for the chiefs who were the custodians of the communities to go beyond the talk and ensure that after the discussions they would practicalize what they have heard to ensure a peaceful election
He said some Zongo communities have been identified as hot spots and as leaders, they had the power of controlling and talking to the people, as the Almighty had entrusted in them such powers to ensure that there was peace at all times.
He entreated them to see themselves as peace ambassadors and try to identify all the groups in the political parties, connect with them, and communicate with them to maintain peace.
Chief Imoro Baba Issa, Public Relations Officer, NCZC said Ghanaians, especially the youth of the various political parties, must place the interest of Ghana above any interest.
He said “we must help Ghana get its respected image and not to destroy it. These elections should not be a do or die affair, because elections would come and go but Ghana would remain as a country. ”
He said elections were normally won at the polling station and therefore parties must endeavor to send well-informed knowledgeable, and experienced persons to the polling stations to help minimize the tensions that arise at polling stations after elections.
Imam Issa called on colleague Chiefs in the regions to send peace messages to their people and be at the forefront in calming down tensions should they arise.
Mr Ibrahim Tanko Amidu, Executive Director, Star Ghana Foundation said elections were very important in enabling citizens to exercise their civic rights and determine who takes decisions in the country and also to determine the kind of progress that we want.
He said Muslims were over-represented in those who were involved in acts of violence very under-represented when it comes to those who benefit from the elections, saying development could not happen where there was no peace.
He said “the chiefs are the custodians and the ones who hold communities together so it is their responsibilities and rights, and their religious obligations to say that if you are going to fight, there are higher values and ideals that you should fight for rather than who is president. You can fight for your principles, ideas but in terms of shedding blood every Muslim must think twice before doing that.”
Mr Tanko said Star Ghana was counting on the chiefs to make 2020 a difference and make this a starting point.
“It’s time we say no. We are no longer going to be used, but we want to raise our voices concerning issues that bring about development to our communities. We need jobs, health facilities, and development.
Let us save our youth from being used to create trouble without getting anything, but we should work together to promote the development of our Zongo communities.”