General News of Friday, 25 January 2013
The West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Ghana), has expressed worry that the political rivalry between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) especially in the aftermath of last December's elections, is creating tension in the country.
It said the situation had been aggravated by the political polarization resulting in the misinterpretation of actions creating mistrust and loss of confidence among the political parties which, according to WANEP, had the likelihood to negatively affect the country's democratic culture.
Mrs. Catherine Bob-Millar, Vice Chairperson of WANEP-Ghana raised these issues in Tamale on Thursday during a two-day workshop for community peace makers drawn from Tamale, Wa and Bawku in the Northern, Upper West and Upper East Regions in that order.
The workshop was to equip the participants on security alert systems to assist WANEP’s role in advocating and alerting the nation on factors of security threat and nib them in the bud.
Mrs. Bob-Millar called on the nation to manage the situation carefully, especially the election disputes, by building consensus among the various stakeholders to avoid a chaotic condition.
Mr. Chukwuemeka B. Eze, Programmes Director of WANEP observed that the growing accusations and counter accusations by the NPP and the NDC even when the electoral dispute was before the court was not healthy, and that "It shows mistrust and lack of confidence in the judicial process”.
On the West African sub-region, he said many of the countries were going through inter-state and communal conflicts and cited Ghana as the success story in maintaining peace but observed that the disparity between the rich and poor was very high coupled with a high unemployment rate.
Mr. Ernest Asigri, Programme Field Coordinator of the UN Joint Programme on Human Security noted that the UN had acknowledged the peaceful nature by which the three northern regions conducted themselves in the just ended elections.
He said the peace that was sustained in the area was an indicative of development to come since development and peace were inter-related and assured residents of the readiness of the UN to support all peace initiatives.
Mr. Justin Bayor, National Network Coordinator of WANEP-Ghana said the organization since 2008 had trained and introduced the Early Warning Systems to the various security institutions and was ready to introduce a short message services (SMS) platform.
He urged the participants to take the training serious since it would introduce them to practical methods that would enable them de-escalate latent conflicts.