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Regional News of Thursday, 10 April 2008

Source: GNA

Chief urges political parties to show tolerance

Sunyani(B/A), April 10, GNA - Okatakyie Agyeman Kudom IV, President of Brong-Ahafo Regional House of Chiefs on Wednesday appealed to political parties to show tolerance, commitment and unity in the conduct of their electioneering campaigns towards the December general election. He implored Ghanaians to live in unity and develop fellow feeling to help sustain the prevailing peace and security in the country. Okatakyie Agyeman, who is the Omanhene of Nkoranza Traditional Area, made the appeal at the general meeting of the house in Sunyani. He explained that the 2008 elections was a turning point in the country's democratic dispensation and appealed to the Electoral Commission to ensure that the elections were free, fair and acceptable to all political parties.

Okatakyie Agyeman said even though traditional rulers were barred from participating in active politics, nothing should stop them from commenting on political tendencies that could jeopardize the security of the country. He expressed regret about the perennial chieftaincy disputes in the region but expressed the hope that with the appointment of a legal councillor the house would work hard to resolve the cases to enhance development.

Mr Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, Regional Minister, noted with concern that some of the numerous chieftaincy disputes and litigations had polarized some communities. He advised traditional authorities to channel their resources, time and energy into ventures that would make positive impact on the lives of their people. "Protracted disputes do not benefit anybody as in the end there would be neither victors nor vanquished and it is your subjects who suffer," he added. Mr Baffour-Awuah reminded the chiefs as the embodiment of the people to preach the message of political tolerance during the electioneering campaigns. He explained that the region had had its fair share of the national cake in terms of development and that investments were on the upward trend under the NPP government.

The Regional Minister urged Ghanaians to renew the mandate of the government to continue with the projects and policies it had initiated. Mr Baffour-Awuah explained that the role of chiefs in the elections is ensuring free and decorous electioneering campaigning; vigilance and monitoring. He said monitoring at the polls would help in no small measure in guaranteeing a fair and acceptable outcome. "As Ghanaians with a common destiny, let us learn to be tolerant of each other's view no matter our political affiliations. This is the time to prove the skeptics wrong and let us understand that we are politically matured and are also determined to nurture our young democracy", he stressed.