A three day workshop aimed at encouraging a violence free elections in the upcoming general elections, has been held in the Asuogyaman district of the Eastern region. The event which was organized by the Akwamu traditional council and supported by the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, was held at the Afrikiko Resort near Akosombo.
The Akwamu Queen mothers who have been very instrumental in community development are committed to contributing to ensuring smooth and non-violent elections within their various communities. In order to sustain peace in their respective communities in the upcoming Presidential and Parliamentary elections therefore, the capacities of the queen mothers needed to be strengthened.
The focus of the event, the first of its kind to be undertaken by the Akwamu queen mothers hinged on the prevention of electoral violence within the Akwamu traditional area, strengthening the capacity of women and youth in avoiding electoral violence, equipping Queen mothers with skills necessary for preventing and managing election triggered conflicts as well as developing advocacy strategies to promote peaceful elections.
The event which showcased a sight of rich cultural and customary heritage of queen mothers and chiefs as well as colourful cultural displays was witnessed by such dignitaries as the District Chief Executive of the Asuogyman district, honourable Ampem Darko; Nana Yaw Boadi IV, Ag President of the Akwamu Traditional Council; Nana Afrakoma II, Akwamu Manhemea; Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, Akwamu Manhene among other glittering dignitaries.
The event held under the theme, ‘Strengthening The Capacity Of Queen mothers In The Prevention Of Election Violence,’ was intended to raise awareness for the people of Akwamu traditional area on the electoral laws and contribute to citizenry violent free environment, before during and after the upcoming elections.
Equally, the main objective of the workshop was to strengthen the advocacy skills of women leaders in their various communities in driving peaceful elections while focusing on building the capacity of community members and Queen mothers for peace building activities, avoid electoral violence and deal with conflict resolutions.
Another focus the workshop intends to pursue in the run up to the elections will be to engage with members of the communities within Akwamuman to behave in a law abiding manner. This is to prevent any form of electoral violence before, during and after the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections.
Addressing the participants, speaker after speaker underscored the need for election tolerance. Odeneho Kwafo Akoto III, Akwamu manhene noted that it was significant that Akwamuman hitherto known for violence was now preaching peace. He was grateful to the USAID and congratulated women for leading the peace crusade in the land, noting that ‘they have shown the way for the men to follow.’
District Chief Executive for Asuogyaman constituency, honourable Ampem Nyarko was hopeful that the 2016 elections was going to be peaceful similar to the ‘peace’ which have characterized Ghanaian elections since 1992 while adding that the assembly was committed to supporting the cause of the queen mothers by providing the necessary logistics.
In an interview with Rite news, Nana Adwoa Oduraa III, Adontenhemaa of the Akwamu traditional area was grateful for acquiring educating the populace against electoral violence was crucial as well as the most powerful weapon in the world. ‘I have also learnt that leadership is important in every aspect of life. Leadership does not talk about the leader being a master of his or her subordinates but rather a servant to the subordinates,’ Nana Oduraa added.
According to her, though the country consistently sees peace at the end of every election, ‘we must not wait for something to happen before we begin to preach peace in the country.’
The platform created an avenue for all the queen mothers to meet together for the first time. The queen mothers resolved to organize other workshops which will give queen mothers of Akwamuman the platform to meet regularly to foster peace.
Certificates of participation were presented to the queen mothers for their commitment to peace.