2020 post-election deaths dent on democracy — Rev Fr Kyere

BY: Emmanuel Adu-Gyamerah & Biiya Mukusah Ali
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene — Bono Regional Minister & Rev. Fr. William Kyere — Chairman Bono Regional Peace Council
Madam Justina Owusu-Banahene — Bono Regional Minister & Rev. Fr. William Kyere — Chairman Bono Regional Peace Council

The Chairman of the Bono Regional Peace Council, Reverend Father William Kyere, has called on relevant stakeholders to take steps to ensure that the 2020 post-election violence that led to the death of eight persons does not happen again.

He described the death of the eight persons as a dent on Ghana’s democratic credentials.

Rev Father Kyere who was speaking at the 2021 International Peace Day celebration in Sunyani last Tuesday, noted that prior to the 2020 elections, the National Peace Council (NPC) undertook nationwide advocacy and sensitisation of the general public to the Anti-Vigilantism Law and the Code of Conduct for Political Parties.

In addition, he said, there was the signing of the Presidential Peace Pact as a means to guaranteeing peace before, during and after the elections.

Violent extremism

Rev Father Kyere said it was important that the country took steps to consolidate the peace and intentionally close gaps such as unemployment, fundamentalism and maladministration that would allow for the growth of violent extremism in the country.

He said the numerous chieftaincy disputes in the region were also a major threat to peace and security, and as such must be tackled, explaining that out of 19 paramountcies eight were in dispute and as such did not have substantive chiefs.

Rev Father Kyere also mentioned pockets of land disputes which he said were not good for the peace and growth of the region, and called on stakeholders to partner with the council to deal with those disputes to enhance development.

GAF determination

Contributing to the discussions,  the Commanding Officer of the 3rd Battalion of Infantry (3BN), Sunyani, Lieutenant Colonel J. Y. Kwarteng, said every individual had a role to play in ensuring peace, and expressed concern about some traditional rulers who sold one plot of land to two or more people.

For her part, the Bono Regional Minister, Mrs Justina Owusu-Banahene, said the region had had its fair share of conflicts and violence which centred along political, chieftaincy, land and ethnic areas over the years.

Mrs Owusu-Banahene advised the public to guard their emotions in situations of conflict and refrain from acts that would escalate the tensions by using cool and calm heads to address such issues.

Conflict resolution

A former National Chairman of the NPC, Rt Rev Professor Emmanuel Asante, said the traditional and indigenous mechanisms for conflict resolution through the use of traditional rulers, the clergy and respected individuals were useful in conflict resolution.

The Catholic Bishop of Sunyani, Most Rev. Dr Matthew Kwasi Gyamfi, commended the Bono Regional Peace Council for mobilising stakeholders to dialogue to minimise tension and misunderstanding of a political, traditional and social nature in the region.