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General News of Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Source: Tv3

Politicians must learn to dialogue and share ideas - Rev. Asante

Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC) Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, who is also the Presiding Bishop of the Methodist Church-Ghana, says politicians must learn to resort to dialogue and share ideas often in order to sustain peace in the country.

He says he considers his role as the chairman of the NPC “a calling from the LORD to serve my nation.”

Rev. Prof. Asante was speaking to TV3’s Komla Klutse in an exclusive interview on the eve of Christmas.

He acknowledged the toughness of his role as chairman of the NPC.

“Chairing an institution such as the [National] Peace Council is not an easy thing,” he confessed.

“What will you do to please everybody?” he quizzed.

He said his role is mostly misconstrued by some as favouring one of the two major political parties.

“I have been vilified in both ways,” he said. “Sometimes, I am NPP. Sometimes, I am NDC but that is fine. That’s the way it ought to be.”

He pointed out that some people take their perception of the role of the NPC to such extremes that they peddle all manner of insults at members.

“I went on the social media, and we are vilified,” he said.

“Somebody has even posted an article that I am losing my respect and that the Methodist people don’t want to have anything to do with me and all sorts of things.”

He noted that though it is very discouraging sometimes, “the majority of the people, about 95% of the people, are happy with the role we have played”.

He confessed that he would have stepped down “if I had had my way, but then the lot fell on me”.

‘Justice without peace’

He said though they were sworn into office by the National Peace Council Act 2011, giving it a legal backing, many have contested their role regarding peace and justice.

“I have always heard people debating us and some people disagreeing with our emphasis on peace telling us that we talk about peace without justice,” he noted.

“I also believe that you cannot seek justice without peace,” he stressed. “They are together.”

He expressed his wish in the coming year.

“I will wish that in the coming year that political parties will learn to dialogue, and learn to share ideas.

“Christmas presents us with a message which can be summarized in three simple ways – peace, unity and love.

“Peace because Christmas brings reconciliation between human beings and God and, for that matter, between human beings.

“It is also a message of unity because reconciliation takes place.

“We have allowed ourselves to be divided with all sorts of ideas – religion, political and ethnic differentiations. I expect that members of different political parties will begin to understand that we are all Ghanaians and that we seek the development of Ghana from different perspective and we are not enemies.”