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General News of Friday, 31 January 2020

Source: Class FM

Don’t be stooges, pawns of government – Mahama to Peace Council

Former President John Mahama has urged the National Peace Council to call out the government and its functionaries when they beat war drums in relation to the December 2020 general elections and not be lickspittles of officialdom.

“We call on the National Peace Council not to allow itself to be railroaded in serving as a cosmetic veneer to make the government look as though it is serious about tackling the matter of vigilantism”, the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said when he spoke at the party’s event to mark the one-year anniversary of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence which saw some national security operatives open fire on opposition party supporters during the poll to elect a replacement MP after the death of Mr Emmanuel Agyarko.

He said: “Ghanaians are looking up to them [National Peace Council] for impartial decisive direction and they cannot afford to disappoint us”.

The former President said members of the NPC “must be quick to quickly condemn the war drums that government functionaries are sounding with the apparent approval of government ahead of the 2020 elections”.

“The Peace Council”, he observed, “has a sacred duty to advocate that the criminal elements that have infiltrated the National Security set-up are removed so that the confidence of the people can be restored in our security and Ghanaians can go to the polls to elect their next President in an atmosphere that promotes free, fair and transparent elections”.

The mandate of the National Peace Council

The National Peace Council (NPC) is an independent statutory national peace institution established by the eight hundred and eighteenth (818) Act of the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana, named The National Peace Council Act, 2011. Thus, any activity undertaken by the Council must be derived from its mandate under Act 818. The core function of the Council is to prevent, manage, and resolve conflict and to build sustainable peace.

With the passing of Act 818, NPC became operational in 2011. Its establishment abolished the previous peace strategy of National, Regional and District Security Councils that established Regional Peace Advisory Councils (RPACs) and District Peace Advisory Councils (DPACs).

The National Peace Council comprises at the national level of a governing body known as the Board of thirteen eminent persons appointed by the President. The appointment is for a period of four years but a Board member may resign or membership may be revoked by the President for stated reasons. There is also an Executive Secretary appointed by the President, responsible for day-to-day administration of the affairs of the Council.

At the Regional and District Levels, the NPC is comprised of Regional and District Peace Councils appointed by the Board in consultation with the Regional Coordinating Council and the District Assembly respectively. There are also Regional and District Executive Secretaries appointed by the President.

Functions

To achieve its object, the Council shall;

(a) Harmonise and co-ordinate conflict prevention, management, resolution and build sustainable peace through net-working and co-ordination.
(b) Strengthen capacities for conflict prevention, management, resolution and sustainable peace in the country including but not limited to chiefs, women, youth groups and community organisation.
(c) Increase awareness on the use of non-violent strategies to prevent, manage and resolve conflict and build sustainable peace in the country.
(d) Facilitate the amicable resolution of conflict through mediation and other processes including indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution and peace building.
(e) Promote understanding of the values of diversity, trust, tolerance, confidence building, negotiation, mediation, dialogue and reconciliation.
(f) Coordinate and supervise the work of the Regional and District Peace Councils.
(g) Facilitate the implementation of agreements and resolutions reached between parties in conflict.
(h) Make recommendations to the government and other stakeholders on actions to promote trust and confidence between and among group.
(i) Perform any other function which is ancillary to its object.

Vision

The National Peace Council’s vision is to have a country characterised by a dynamic environment where people can engage in their lawful activities confident that the institutions, mechanisms, and capacities for mediating differences and grievance are effective and responsive.

Mission

The National Peace Council will facilitate the development of mechanisms for cooperation among all relevant stakeholders in peacebuilding in Ghana by promoting cooperative problem solving to conflicts and by institutionalising the processes of response to conflicts to produce outcomes that lead to conflict transformation, social, political and religious reconciliation and transformative dialogues.

Objective

The object of the Council is to facilitate and develop mechanisms for conflict prevention, management, resolution and to build sustainable peace in the country.

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