Don’t ban politics on campus -Ludwig
From Issah Alhassan, Kumasi
Tertiary institutions in the country have been urged to reconsider their decision to ban political activities on campus.
The National Youth Organiser of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), Ludwig Hlodze, said the ban, if implemented, will not augur well for the political discourse of this country.
Some public Universities, particularly the University of Ghana and other private institutions, threatened to ban political activities on campuses, citing multi-party conflicts as reasons why.
But according to him, it will be a slap in the face of Ghana politics if students, who are being nurtured to take leadership positions, are banned from actively engaging in political activities.
Lugwig, who made the call in Kumasi during a workshop organized by the Inter Party Youth Committee (IPYC), in collaboration with the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) for political parties with representation in parliament, noted that though university campuses are places for learning, it also provides the platform for students the needed step towards enhancing their political leadership.
“Banning politics on campus amounts to the stifling of the country’s human resource and capital, because the University serves as a nursing ground for many political ambitions,” he argued.
The workshop formed part of efforts by the IPYC and its German partners to promote peace and incident free elections, come December 7.
The programme was under the theme: “Sustaining Peace Before, During and After Election 2012, The Role of IPYC.”
Mr. Hlodze said the Committee, made up of National Youth Organizers of the four major political parties, the NDC, New Patriotic Party, Convention People’s Party and People’s National Convention had resolved that their campaign messages would be focused on peace building and national development, rather than on insults, intemperate language, provocative statements and incitement against groups, ethnicity or religious sects in Ghana.
He said the youth in particular, who had often been the tool used by political parties to cause violence, were fully committed to the cause and would resist any attempt by any politician to misuse them.
“We have told our members that if any politician comes to seek your service in any violent act, you should first ask the person to include his first son; we will no longer allow ourselves to be abused,” He said.
The Provost of College of Science at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Prof. R.K. Nkum, who represented the Chancellor of the University, said the school would welcome any initiative that would help promote peace and unity during this year’s elections.
He, however, noted that authorities of the school would deal with students in their capacity as people seeking knowledge and not as politicians and, therefore, called on political parties to advise their members, particularly those on campuses, to refrain from acts that generate tension and conflicts.
The Programme Coordinator for FES, Hajara Mohammed Rufai, said the FES believes that the youth would play vital role in ensuring incident elections hence the decision to partner them in the nationwide campaign.
She indicated that similar ones had already been organized in the three northern regions, all in an effort to get the youth to commit themselves towards a peaceful cause ahead of the elections.
The Regional youth organizer of the NPP, Gideon Boako pledged his party’s commitment towards peaceful election and said they would fully collaborate with the IPYC towards that objective.
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