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Regional News of Sunday, 6 November 2016

Source: citifmonline.com

Imams urged to preach peace ahead of elections - DSP Benjamin Aniah

DSP Benjamin Aniah, Chairman of the Security Taskforce

The Nanumba North District Security Taskforce has urged Imams in Bimbilla in the Northern Region to include messages of peace in their sermons to the congregation.

He made the call when he met with the religious leaders and other relevant stakeholders in the district, in a bid to ensure peace, before, during and after the elections.

The Chairman of the Taskforce, who is also the District Police Commander, DSP Benjamin Aniah, explained to the Imams the need for them to educate their congregants on the importance of peace, especially in the Northern Region.

'‘I urge you to include in your sermons a message of peace, the need for peace because if your neighbour’s beard is on fire, you need to fetch water near your own. We have seen what conflict is, we saw it jumping over dead rotten bodies to pick other people, it was serious. Conflict is nothing good for us, the little thing that happened in this community, we all saw how it went. So please, let us have this message sent deep in our hearts so that we would send it across to people out there, and they will embrace peace so that the periods before, during and after elections, we will have total peace for our brothers to conduct the elections’’.

He also called on media to be circumspect in their reportage, and the youth not to allow themselves to be used by politicians to foment trouble.

The Military Detachment Commander of the Ghana Armed Forces in Bimbilla, S/Sgt Peter Azumah, shared experiences he has had in areas like Liberia and Sierra Leone, and the effects of war to the participants, and urged them to work hard at maintaining the country’s peace.

At the end of the programme, some of the religious leaders told Citi News what they will do to ensure that there is peace, before during and after the elections.

“We have learnt a lot about election procedures and processes, especially things that have to do for peace, before, during and after elections; and as such we are encouraged to go and disseminate the message to our congregants to know about the essence of peace and things that we must do to avoid conflicts in our communities.”

Another Imam said, “We assured the security taskforce that the message of peace is going to be part of sermons on Fridays to educate the congregation on the essence of peace because it is peace that can bring about development. It is peace that can allow people to go about their businesses and it is peace that can even allow people to worship, if there is no peace you cannot stand to worship and that is why the religion itself teaches us to be peaceful’’.

The Taskforce was formed in April this year in the District, to deal with election related issues which are likely to spark violence in the area.

It has since met with representatives all the political parties, traditional authorities and other stakeholders.