Friday, May 4, 2012

YOUTH POSITION ON POLITICS OF INSULTS AND VIOLENCE PRESS STATEMENT OF THE COALITION OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ORGANIZATIONS IN GHANA (COYDOG) ON 26 April 2012 The Coalition of Youth Development Organizations in Ghana (COYDOG) has followed with keen interest recent developments in the political discourse in the country especially discourteous pronouncements made by politicians on political platforms and particularly in the media. We have noted with much concern the use of insulting and violent language against political opponents and this is a source of worry to us. In some instances, young political activists have copied their leaders blindly and resort to the use of insults on elderly persons instead of discussing relevant policy issues that will bring hope and relief to the youth of Ghana. Our values as Ghanaians demand that we give respect to all manner of people especially the elderly and those in authority irrespective of which side of the political divide they belong. It is therefore unfortunate that we are gradually losing these precious values in the name of politics. There are thousands of young people who listen to what these politicians say or do and are likely to be infected with this kind of politicking in Ghana. As we approach the Presidential and Parliamentary elections in December 2012, it is important that we all make efforts to ensure that the elections are held in a violent free environment. We therefore call on all politicians to; -Be decorous in their pronouncements both in the media and on campaign platforms - Desist from all activities that are likely to bring chaos in the country - Show respect and tolerance to their political opponents - Discourage and sanction their communication team members who insult their opponents. - Stop using the youth for their violent activities; the youth of Ghana are the most valuable assets the nation can boast of. Stop destroying them!! We further call on all the young people of Ghana to; -Reject politicians who engage in politics of insults and preach violence by voting against them - Watch out for politicians who will present policies and programmes that will bring relevant education, employment and other socio-economic opportunities to the youth and vote accordingly. Your vote is your power; use it to negotiate your future. -Not allow themselves to be used by politicians to engage in any violent activity before, during and after the elections. Our lives are precious; let’s protect them. We finally call on the media to; - Help the nation by not allowing politicians to use their platforms to propagate their insults and violent activities. - Stop giving prominence to political statements that have the tendency of bringing chaos into the country. The media is a very powerful institution; let us use it to promote peace. Henceforth, COYDOG will begin a campaign to cause disaffection for politicians and political activists who engage in the politics of insults and violence. It is our hope that Ghana will once again have peaceful, violent free and fair elections in December and continue to maintain her enviable position as a beacon of hope and peace on the African continent. LONG LIVE THE YOUTH OF GHANA LONG LIVE GHANA SIGNED Chibeze Ezekiel CHAIRMAN Samuel Kingsford Seglah GOVERNANCE SECTOR COORDINATOR For and on behalf of the Coalition. About COYDOG The Coalition of Youth Development Organizations in Ghana (COYDOG) is a league of youth-led and youth- focused organizations and individuals established in September, 2011. It represents diverse beliefs, socio-economic backgrounds, academic inclinations, ethnic sentiments with a common aim of creating a platform for peer-learning, sharing of ideals, ideas and best practices, networking and synergy. One of the key objectives of COYDOG is to engage key stakeholders such as policy makers or decision makers actively and positively on youth matters to achieve national development goals. For Further clarifications on this statement, please contact the numbers below; 1. Chibeze Ezekiel – 0244967931: Chairman 2. Samuel Kingsford Seglah – 0249305234: Governance Sector Coordinator 3. Prosper Hoetu – 0244406237: Vice Chairman