D.I. Laary, GNA
Wa, Nov 16, GNA - The Upper West (UW) Regional Peace Council has sworn 13 new council members into office for a four-year term to develop mechanisms that will help prevent, manage, resolve and build sustainable peace in the Region.
The members are also charged with the mandate of creating public awareness on the use of non-violent means to resolve conflicts and facilitate implementation of agreements and resolutions between parties in conflict.
Supervising High Court Judge Justice Kwasi Boakye guided the council members appointed from diverse representations within the society to take the oaths of allegiance, secrecy and office.
The council is made up of Rev Dr Aloysius Nuolabong, Satellite Peace Centre; Sheikh Ahmed Yakubu, Ahlussunna Wal Jama’A; Al-haj Ismil Saakah, Office of UW Regional Chief Imam and Reverend Father John Kuupiel, Wa Diocese, Bishop’s Office.
Others Alhaji Abdul Rahaman Haruna, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission; Reverend Apostle George Apsera, Charismatic Churches, Wa and Reverend Benard Anchebah, Pentecostal and Charismatic Council.
Some include Kuoro Richard Babini Kanton VI, UW Regional House of Chiefs; Venerable Moses Z. Banungwiir, Christian Council of Ghana; Mr Mohammed Abdulai Sidiki and Mrs Hellen Sunmanbo Bagongluri from UW Regional Coordinating Council (RCC).
The rest are Madam Hajaratu limann I, Pognamine/Halakuoro Association and Alhaji Alhassen Kunbanje, African Traditional Religion.
Justice Boakye urged the Regional Peace Council (RPC) members to discharge their duties impartially and responsibly in accordance with the law that established the National Peace Council where it derives its legal backing of being independent.
“You must guard against your independence, the Peace Council by law is independent, it means the RCC cannot control you, your work is to mediate in conflicts that are likely to result in violence,” he said.
Maulivi Mohammed Bin Salih, member of the National Peace Council (NPC) Governing Board, said regional peace councils were mandated to offer advice to the RCCs and the regional security councils in relation to conflict and building sustainable peace.
He said the need for peace has become more imperative and apparent at this time of the country’s social and political systems which seemed not to be responding effectively to emerging conflicts.
“Our youths are becoming increasingly agitated over limited opportunities with impunity eating into the very fabric of our society and the threat of extremism looming large over our sub-region,” he said.
He called on the RPC to be ready because “the task ahead is critical for the development of our society” and would require their full commitment and dedication.
Maulivi Salih appealed to government agencies, the business community and international organisations to continue to stand with the NPC to execute the task of peacebuilding.
“For it is only in an environment of peace that Ghana can continue to consolidate the economic gains it has chalked in recent years and improve the lives of the people,” he said.
Alhaji Sullemana Alhassan, the UW Regional Minister, said the region was relatively peaceful and attributed the situation to the proactive work of the security agencies to maintain law and order.
He said the municipal and district security councils have been tasked to ensure peace in their areas and they have responded to the call by setting up community watchdog committees to beef up state security operations.
He advised the newly RPC members to dialogue with the various municipal and district security councils in maintaining peace to allow lawful citizens to go about their social and economic activities without fear.
The NPC was established by the NPC Act of 2011 (Act 818) with a governing aboard of 13 members from various fields.
The Council is mandated to facilitate and develop mechanisms to build sustainable peace in the country. It institutionalised the setting up of regional and district peace councils whose membership is the same as the governing board.