By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, Feb. 3, GNA – The Foundation for
Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) Monday urged the Electoral
Commission to be sensitive to the political undertones of its decisions and
work to build consensus with the political parties on the way forward.
Mrs Theodora Williams-Anti, the Programmes
Manager of the pro peace Civil-Society Organisation, asked the stakeholders,
especially the political parties, to also show good faith and put the security
of the nation first as they deliberated whether there should be a new voter’s
register or not.
Mrs Williams-Anti, who was speaking in an
interview, on Monday, with the Ghana News Agency, in Accra, said FOSDA was
worried that the entrenched positions taken by some of these key stakeholders
in the electoral process could degenerate into violence if caution was not
“The voter’s register is a sensitive
material in the electoral process, so such confusion around it at this time in
an election year increases its potential to trigger violence before, during and
after the elections,” she said.
FOSDA, she said, acknowledged that the EC
was in the best position to enumerate what was needed to ensure a credible and
trustworthy general election this year.
However, the timing and lack of consensus,
especially among political parties, might go a long way to discredit the
efforts, she added.
The Foundation, Mrs William-Anti said, was
also concerned about the use of demonstrations by some political parties to
express their displeasure with the EC’s decisions.
It, therefore, appealed to all stakeholders,
especially the political parties, to use dialogue to engage the EC, rather than
resorting to demonstrations and other crowd pulling activities, which had the
potential of destabilising the country.
She urged Ghanaians not to take the peace of
the nation for granted but to work harder to sustain it ahead of the elections,
throughout the processes and thereafter.
“We call on political leaders,
especially to show maturity and be circumspect in speech and action. We urge
them to eschew hate speech and show responsible leadership to influence their
followers positively,” she said.
“We acknowledge that absence of war
does not mean there is no conflict, Conflict will always arise but how we
address it portrays the level of our maturity as individuals and as a
nation,” she said.
She appealed to the Government to work hard
to minimise some of the triggers of violence; such as high youth unemployment,
interference in the work of key state institutions, such as the EC and the
security agencies, and meddling in chieftaincy issues.
The Government should also facilitate the
work of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with adequate
funding for their programmes.
“We also call on Government to take
another look at the Emile Short Commission report on the Ayawaso-West Wuogon
Constituency Parliamentary bye-election to sanitise the security sector for the
“It is important that our security personnel
act professionally before, during and after the 2020 elections,” she said.
It should also invest in the provision of
logistics and training for the security ahead of the elections.
Mrs Williams-Anti appealed to the Police to
ensure an equal playing field for all in the society by ensuring the compliance
to the laws without fear of favour.
The media must also be circumspect in their
reportage and use their platforms to promote peace rather than violence.
All Ghanaians, especially the youth, must
participate actively and positively in the democratic development of Ghana and