The National Organiser of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Mr Yaw Boateng-Gyan, and the Brong Ahafo Regional Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Kwaku Asomah-Cheremeh, have bemoaned the resort to violence in the country in recent times.
They noted that the culture of violence and impunity in politics did not augur well for the growth of multi-party democracy and, therefore, appealed to supporters of their respective parties to eschew such acts.
Messrs Boateng- Gyan and Asomah-Cheremeh expressed the concerns at the Eid-Ul-Fitr celebration to mark the end of this year’s Ramadan at the Sunyani Coronation Park last Friday, which attracted hundreds of Muslims in the Brong Ahafo Region.
The festive but solemn occasion also saw for the first time, leading members of the NDC and NPP in the region exchanging pleasantries in the full glare of the public.
From the NDC were the Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive (MCE), Mr Kwasi Oppong Ababio; the NDC Regional Organiser, Alhaji Baba Awudu Gausu; NDC Regional Youth Organiser, Mohammed Seidu a.k.a Maha and NDC Women Organiser, Florence Ennin .
The NPP members included Messrs Kwasi Ameyaw-Cheremeh and Ignatius Baffour Awuah, Members of Parliament for Sunyani East and West respectively, and Mr Alfred Anye, NPP Regional Secretary.
Mr Boateng-Gyan cited the ‘Azoka Boys’ of the NDC and the ‘Bamba Boys’ of the NPP, as well as other youth claiming to be supporters of the two leading political parties, who were mostly Muslim youth and who threatened mayhem and used violence to settle political scores, and added that those deeds did not help the democratic development.
He, therefore, called on Muslim clerics and opinion leaders to impress on their youth not to allow themselves to be used to foment violence, saying Islam stands for peace and, therefore, urged the youth to use peaceful means to settle whatever differences they might encounter.
Mr Asomah-Cheremeh, for his part, condemned the recent violence and called for peace since it was the pre-requisite for the growth of multi-party democracy in the country.
Nana Takyi Abiam, the Dwantoahene of Sunyani Traditional Area who represented the Sunyanihene, Nana Asor Nkrawerie 11, called on Muslims to see themselves as one people and not to allow politics to divide them.
Mr Kwadwo Nyamekye-Marfo, the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, in his remarks urged all to be mindful of their utterances and ensure that any time they spoke, their speech promoted peace and unity in the country.
He called on opponents of the government to desist from peddling falsehood and always speak the truth, adding that the fact that ‘you do not like somebody or the way they do things should not influence you to peddle lies about them.
Mr Nyamekye-Marfo stated that the NDC government had the Islamic religion at heart and would continue helping their leadership for their mutual benefit.
The Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Umar Abdul Kadir who led the prayers, in his message said Ghana was one of the peaceful countries in Africa, despite its multi-religious and ethnic considerations, but of late, the selfishness of the perpetrators of chaos had created conflict in the three northern regions in the country.
He noted that since Islam preached nothing but peace, Muslims should not stop practising what they had learnt during the Ramadan to coexist peacefully with others.
He thanked the NDC government for the manner in which it organised the Hajj saying that for the first time in the history of Ghana, pilgrims’ luggage arrived in the country before they did, unlike the past when pilgrims arrived and had to wait for their luggage.
Alhaji Kadir thanked the government for its support during the Ramadan and all Islamic celebrations.