The Northern Youth for Peace and Development (NYPD) and the Queen Mothers Foundation of Ghana have launched a campaign dubbed ‘Grand Peace Project’ to ensure a peaceful election this year.

Executive Director of the NYPD, Prince Hadi Adams told Adom News the utterances of leaders of the two major political parties indicate that this year’s election could be problematic particularly for the northern part of the country.

He says the primary purpose of the Grand Peace Project is therefore to employ the services of queen mothers to entreat their colleague women in the north to start speaking to their husbands and sons about the need to avoid violence.

“The men have engulfed themselves with the preparedness to fight and kill but the women are not ready for that so we are asking the queen mothers to buttress home the message that when men fight it is the women and children who suffer most because they become defenseless,” he said.

Prince Hadi Adams noted that politicians usually take advantage of the lingering tribal conflicts in the north and use the youth of opposing tribal grouping for their selfish political ends.

He said most of the politicians, on both sides of the political divide, who use the youth of the north do not have houses in the north, and their children do not also live in the north so in the event of any conflict they lose absolutely nothing.

“We are going to embark on a huge peace campaign to tell the youth to ignore politicians who incite violence because most of them do not have houses in the north but have built houses in Accra… When they incite violence, innocent people get killed and other people’s houses get burnt down,” Prince said passionately.

Prince Hadi Adams stressed that as part of the peace campaign, Ghanaian soccer international, Michael Essien, Ivorian Reggea star, Alpha Blundy, and other big stars will join NYPD and the queen mothers to hold a big programme in the north on AU Day in may to kick start a major peace campaign, which is 50% sponsored by the UNDP.

“We have also identified some 200 queen mothers in the north who will be empowered to fight against violence and promote peace in their communities,” he said.

The President of the Queen Mothers Foundation, Nana Serwaa Bonsu, queen mother of Ofinso Kayira said the days when politicians used the youth to achieve their selfish interest through violence during elections should be a thing of the past.

She said the queen mothers would take the project beyond the north and send it to the various regions, districts and communities and start admonishing people against inflammatory utterances and insults on radio.

Nana Serwaa Bonsu noted that the message would not be limited to peace for election 2012, but they would also seek to restore the culture where young people vacated their seats for the elders and are also circumspect when they talk about elders.

She urged politicians to remember that politics is not meant to divide the nation but to unite, and also called on the youth to think about their future and resist politicians whose suggestions pose a threat to the life and future of the youth.