Politicians urged not to instigate violence

– Nana Okofo Ogyefo Amoako II, Chief of Gomoa Mangoase, has called on politicians to promote peace as the nation heads to the polls on December 7.

He said they should avoid utterances likely to trigger conflicts while making character and development assessment key factors in their campaigns.

He said campaigning on character assessment and development would go a long way to encourage the electorate to come out in their numbers to elect a leader.

Nana Okofo Amoako made the call at a peace education forum initiated by him and his elders to educate the community members on the need to embrace peace.

Gomoa Mangoase is close to Kasoa which is one of the hotspots identified by the Electoral Commission (EC) in the Country.

He expressed concern about the animosity, intolerance and insults which had characterized the political landscape, saying it was time people adopted political tolerance.

Nana Okofo Amoako appealed to the leadership of the various political parties to be mindful of their utterances on campaign platforms to prevent confusion.

The youth should avoid people, who incited them to say different political party must not make opponents enemies.

“Let us embrace peace with all seriousness, for without peace the needed social amenities to help better our lot cannot be executed, let us see ourselves as one people with a common destiny to develop and we should not allow partisan politics divide us,” he added.

Mr Sadiq Adu-Twum, Executive Director of Aman Center for Democracy, Security and Counter-Terrorism (ACDS) Africa, applauded the Chief for initiating the programme to ensure peace and security in his Area.

He said the security of Ghana’s election was necessary because of the concrete evidence of rising electoral violence and the activities of vigilante groups and as such, it was important to safeguard the electoral process.

“Elections are a contest of ideas and we must demand ideas and policies that will bring about better development instead of in-fighting, mostly orchestrated by political mafias.

In 2016, the Electoral Commission identified 94 out of the 275 constituencies, and 7,000 out of the 29,000 polling stations as potential hotspots.

Mr Adu-Twum indicated that it was logical for electoral violence to be reducing as the country made qualitative democratic progress, but this was not the case and called on all stakeholders in the country to be concerned and help find a lasting solution to it.

Mr Adib Saani, the Security Analyst and Executive Director of Jatikay Center for Human Security and Peace Building stated that there were over 1.2 million Ghanaians with guns.

Last year only 40,000 of the number re-registered their guns, meaning that many people owned unregistered guns, which posed a threat to the country’s security.

He said every Ghanaian had a unique role to play to ensure that the election was conducted peacefully.

Abdul Karim Issifu, Executive Director of West Africa Peace Ambassador Network (WAPAN) and Chief Superintendent Seth Panti Yirek II, Agona Swedru District Police Commander were other facilitators who schooled the gathering on the need to eschew negative tendencies which could create tension before, during and after the December 7 elections.

Source: Ghana News Agency