Ghana is noted as a beacon of democracy and has striven for peace, freedom, and justice since the country adopted multi-party democracy. This we must all be proud as citizens. It is therefore incumbent on all Ghanaians to hold dear to the peace and stability the country is currently enjoying as we prepare again to go into an election on the 7th December 2020.
This cannot be achieved without tolerance and respect for each other’s opinion. We have lived together as one people in the Oti Region, so let not party politics divide us.
It is important to note that, we need words to convince our opponents to support us not blows, sticks, and guns. When the bullet flies in the air, it knows not even the one who fired it, it becomes a threat to everyone. That is why we must all embrace peace before, during and after the elections.
We have a few days left for the country to go to the polls to decide who lead the country and represent the people for the next four years, the cry for peace is as loud as the sound of a great Iroko tree that falls in the forest. We are people connected by one culture which existed before multi-party democracy, so how can we allow political parties to divide us? Let me hear you say a big no to violence and commit to peace in your heart.
We are witness of how political violence has destroyed Ghana’s neighbours Burkina Faso, Togo, and to some extent Nigeria. You have also, all been witness to the situations in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Congo, and Rwanda resulting from instability. As Ghanaians, we must be wise and allow peace to win.
During elections, the youth are often targeted and used by the politician to cause trouble. I want to urge our gallant young men and women not to accept money from politicians to cause trouble or engage in double voting as these are crimes in the electoral laws of Ghana.
When you look around your communities, you will see many of your colleagues who are carrying permanent deformities like broken arms and legs from engaging in political activities. Many have even lost their lives through political activities in the Oti Region. This should be a lesson to those of us who are still living not to allow ourselves to be used.
On election day, please do well to visit the polling station where you registered to vote and leave immediately after you have voted. Please do well to obey the electoral rules and follow the Covid 19 protocols while at the polling station. Do not be afraid to go and vote, the Regional Police Command has assured us of adequate security at each polling station.
The Electoral Commission of Ghana has demonstrated its preparedness to conduct the election in the mop-up exercise that was conducted yesterday for the special voters. It is our prayer and hope that, God will stand by them to deliver credible free, and fair elections to Ghanaians. But for this to happen, we must as citizens respect the independence of the Electoral Commission and support them to fulfill their mandate.
To sum up, I will like to urge the media to be circumspect in their reportage of the happenings at the polling stations and use their platforms to promote information that will educate citizens about their responsibilities in the elections. It is obvious that some of you the media have party belonging, and some of you are even owned by the politicians but you owe a duty to inform, educate, and entertain the public. I will like to urge you to trigger your duty of educating during this period to promote peace before, during, and after election 2020.
This release is part of the Coalition of CSOs in Governance and Security to carry out peaceful election campaigns on the theme – Campaigning for peaceful election 2020, supported by the West African Centre for Counter-Extremism (WACCE) in collaboration with African Center for Security and Counter-Terrorism (ACSCT).
Remember Peace Wins, Ghana wins, Thank you.
The Executive Director, Mr. John Stephen Agbenyo