Immediate past Chairman of National Peace Council, Most-Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante has cautioned politicians to desist from using the youth to foment conflict before, during and after elections.
To him, though it is imperative that the youth are not exploited, he blamed some of these young ones for allowing themselves to be used by these politicians.
“Politicians must refrain from using the youth for destructive tendencies. It is the young people who have allowed themselves to be used by older politicians who would not let their children go to the front.
“…..If they come to you to ask you to follow them to do something untoward, ask them, where are your children?”
Addressing the various youth groups at the “Youth Peace Dialogue and Signing of Peace Charter”, Professor Emmanuel Asante highlighted the need to sustain political education in the country to ensure the youth are able to resist any attempt by politicians to manipulate them for their selfish gains.
Quoting from the peace charter agreed by the various youth groups in the country, Most Reverend Asante called on the youth not to be just interested in who governs, but how the country is governed.
“And they go on to say that the curriculum of the youth leadership skills training institutes is expanded to include the inculcation of patriotism and nationalism beyond technical skills…
“The young political leaders and communicators must focus on issues rather than personalities to enable them serve as the voice of people rather than to be seen as noise-makers. This is not coming from Emmanuel Asante; it is coming from the young people. That honesty and integrity be upheld as cherished values by the youth so that they move away from unguarded statements”.
“There is the need for defiance to be punished or dealt with according to law rather than rewarded…unfortunately in this country, it is as if, if you are defiant, you can insult, you have some sharp teeth, you are rewarded…. You yourself said that there must be effective credible and efficient complain process in all stages of the election conflict”, he quoted from the youth charter.
He recounted how the National Peace Council stopped some angry youth who had massed up at a place to forment trouble because the results of the 2012 Presidential elections did not go in their candidates’ favour by asking how many of them had an uncle who is a politician and how many of them are children of these politicians.
“Their children are in school; they are training and as for you, you deserve to follow them to do things that will not help and when you are killed or you lose your eyesight, they would all come at a time to tell you stories but after some time, you are not going to see anybody again”, he admonished.