Musicians Unite To Promote Peaceful Elections
National Peace and Development Campaign on the theme: “United for Peace and Development” was launched on Thursday with a call on Ghanaians to ensure that they contributed to peaceful elections. The campaign dubbed: "Ghana First Peace Concert" would use music as an instrument to preach peace before, during and after the December Presidential and Parliamentary elections and would attempt to bring together all political parties and their supporters. Under the programme series of 16 musical concerts would be held in every regional capital and six metropolitan centres with the climax in Accra. Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama who launched the programme said the peace concert would be an opportunity to test whether music could be used effectively as a unifying force across barriers of conflicts as well as bridge ethnic and religious barriers. "Peace is an intangible asset that cannot be quantified in any units of measurements yet its intrinsic value is unquantifiable and all pervasive," he said. Alhaji Mahama pointed out that it was an accepted fact that sustainable development required an environment of peace and to make progress as a country, all well meaning Ghanaians must reject instability and opt for peaceful co-existence. "Ghana is renowned worldwide for her peace loving people and culture of hospitality without discrimination. We pride ourselves as an epitome of peace and unity and this is the foundation for the progress and development we are steadily experiencing today.” “It is therefore imperative that our political, ethnic, religious and other differences should not blind us into burying the virtue of "Ghana First" there-by plunging us onto a path of disunity and disintegration," Vice President Mahama said. He said a series of 16 concerts should help as a reference point for peace through the medium of music and peace building as a shared concern and a better way of getting everybody on board as it appealed to one's sense of musical harmony. "It is also a priceless gift and a proactive instrument which could address the underlying causes of disagreement and thereby nip in the bud any possibilities of conflicts" Vice President Mahama said there was the need to promote democratic governance and rule of law that should be a guiding principle to prevent anybody from taking the law into his or her own hands regardless of the circumstances. Mr Sampson Kwaku Boafo, Minister of State at the Ministry of Chieftaincy and Culture, urged Ghanaians to pray and guard against any form of ethno-political sentiments likely to threaten the peace and stability in the country. "This peaceful and congenial atmosphere should not be taken for granted at all. As preparation towards the December polls heats up, certain mischievous persons in their quest and thirst for political power may wish to see Ghana burst into flames should the power elude them," he said cautioning the youth against any such actions. Mrs Justice Georgina Woode, Chief Justice who was tagged as a peace ambassador in Ghana, warned against inflammatory, foul language, insults, the spewing of venom, preaching of violence, disrespect for and distain towards institutions of state and authorities, blackmail and lies to the unsuspecting public. She said such vices should not have a place in the country’s political life especially during the campaign season. "This is not to say that we should not criticize when things are going wrong no this is not the message that I am preaching, we surely are entitled to... but we must do so constructively not negatively in a manner that would promote peace and not breed hatred, suspicion, mistrust and utter chaos," the Chief Justice said Mrs Justice Woode urged those seeking elective leadership positions to understand that they could turn to be end losers if they preached violence and negativities that had the potential of undermining and destroying institutions of states and authorities However, she said should there be an unlikely event that there were dispute which needed to be resolved in court, the Judiciary had drawn up plans to deal with such dispute credibly. "I have already earmarked automated courts commonly described as Fast Track courts in which evidence is taken not hand written but mechanically recorded. “The judges manning this court would suspend the hearing of other cases that have been assigned to them in the normal course of their duties and adjudicate these disputes from day to day including Saturdays. We would like to assure you that we are anxious to contribute towards a peaceful transition of power," the Chief Justice said. Mr Kofi Boateng Agyen, Acting Country Manager of World Bank, pledged the bank’s commitment to peace and development in Ghana and announced that the bank had promised to sponsor award winners of the recently held Ghana Music Awards to produce a theme song for the "United for Peace and Development" campaign. Mrs Diana Hopeson, President of the Musicians Union of Ghana (MUSIGA), pointed out that music brought unity and pledged the musicians' readiness to use their talents to promote peace and development. There were solidarity messages from the United Nations, the Queen Mothers Association, the Youth, and MUSIGA. The launch brought together seasoned musicians in the country, including Amandzeba Nat Brew, Kwaw Kesse, Chemphe, Five Five, representatives from the Christian Council of Ghana, Muslim Community and Development Partners.
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