The Ahafo Regional Chief Imam, Alhaji Abdul Yusif Jihad, has cautioned Muslim youth not to allow themselves to be lured and used to cause political violence in the region.
He asked the Police to be firm and prosecute Zongo youth who engaged in acts of violence and to disturb the prevailing peace of the nation.
Alhaji Jihad gave the caution during a symposium held at Goaso in the Asunafo North Municipality of the Ahafo region to mark this year’s International Peace Day (IPD), organised by the Ahafo Regional Peace Council.
The United Nations (UN) has since 1981 set aside September 21 every year for the celebration of the IPD to strengthen the ideals of peace through a 24 hours observance of non-violence and ceasefire.
Speaking under the theme “Recovering Better for an Equitable and Sustainable World”, Alhaji Jihad stressed his office was not in any position to defend or shield any Zongo youth who engaged in acts of violence and criminal activities in the area and advised the Muslim youth to rather use their strength to engage in productive activities to better their lots.
He emphasised Islam stood for peace and there was no way Muslim leaders in Ahafo would either allow or look unconcerned for politicians and political parties to lure Zongo youth and use them to foment trouble to disturb the peace of the region.
Earlier in a welcoming address, Most Reverend Peter Kwaku Atuahene, the Catholic Bishop of the Goaso Diocese and the Chairman of the Ahafo Regional Peace Council said the Council was in a process of establishing a strong Network of Peace Actors (NPA) for the region.
The NPA, he explained, would provide early warning and timely response to all conflict situations in the region to ensure conflicts were prevented from degenerating into violence.
“This, we strongly believe is the most effective and efficient way of dealing with conflict than the traditional fire-fighting approach the country has been accustomed to.
The traditional fire-fighting approach only sees the need to attend to conflict situations when the violence breaks out intending to stop the violence through the use of force”. Most. Rev. Atuahene explained.
“This belated approach merely aims at stopping the violence and not engaging in the painstaking process of resolving and transforming the conflicts. The outcome of this approach is the number of recurrent and intractable conflicts scattered all over the country which often become drains to the limited resources of affected local assemblies”, he added.
Mr Kennedy Atiibo, the Acting Executive Secretary of the Ahafo Regional Peace Council noted Ahafo was bedevilled with several challenges that threatened the peace and development of the region and called for concerted efforts to address the challenges.
He said lands and chieftaincy disputes, political violence, natural resources conflict, and infrastructural under-development were emerging threats of peace and stability in the region which required urgent attention.