Police Officer calls for stakeholder involvement for peaceful Election 2012
Kwahu-Daa (E/R), June 21, GNA – Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Mike Avadetsi, Divisional Commander of Police for Kwahu has called on all stakeholders to work diligently and responsibly towards a peaceful Election 2012.
He cautioned stakeholders to desist from actions that would trigger violence and rather work with professionalism to ensure peaceful elections; stressing “We need the support of all stakeholders to ensure peace before, during and after Election 2012".
Speaking at an electoral education platform created by Socioserve-Ghana, a Ghanaian NGO, and on Rite 90.1 FM, a Somanya-based radio station, DSP Avadetsi stressed the need for civil society to contribute to ensuring peaceful elections.
The programme brought together various election stakeholders including political parties, traditional authority, religious leaders and security agencies to dialogue on issues of peace and political tolerance ahead of Election 2012.
It forms part of a project titled “Know Your Aspiring Member of Parliament”, currently being implemented in nine constituencies in the Eastern Region with support from STAR-Ghana and funding from USAID, EU, DANIDA and UKaid.
He cautioned the media especially the electronic media not to announce election results but rather allow the constitutional mandate of the Electoral Commission (EC) to prevail.
“Any act by the electronic media to announce election results will amount to usurping the constitutional mandate of the EC, and an affront to the tenets of multi-party democracy and have the potential of creating violence,” he said.
DSP Avadetsi cautioned against the intake of alcohol during the electioneering period since it might generate actions that would trigger violence....“It is therefore, the role of political parties to ensure their activists and sympathisers desist from the abuse of alcohol during the period”.
Mr Alex Somuah Obeng, Kwahu West Municipal Chief Executive advised the electorate to be proactive to demand their rights rather than being used as instruments for creating violence.
He said, “Politics is about development and not party colours,” and appealed to parents to advise and educate their children especially the youth, not to engage in any form of violence.
Mr Obeng indicated that the programme reinforced the stakeholder approach to ensuring peace since all the participants were involved in the elections.
Ms Rita Y. Ntoso, Programme Manager of Socioserve-Ghana in an interview with the Ghana News Agency urged Ghanaians to protect the prevailing peace in the country before, during and after December 7.
"We must as a matter of necessity ensure that we do not lose the peaceful atmosphere we have in this country before, during and after the December 7 polls, otherwise we will be worse off than our neighbouring countries," she added.
She noted that Ghana was surrounded by countries, all of which were either experiencing or had experienced political conflict and that none of those countries - Togo, Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso - could accommodate refugees from Ghana.
Ms Ntoso said the West African Sub-Region had seen bloody wars in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Cote d'Ivoire, and that Ghana could not afford to be part of that record. “We collectively need to tell the world that Africa's democracy has come of age”.
She described as "very unfortunate", statements some politicians made on political platforms in their bid to win votes.
"We cannot afford to follow misguided statements by some self-seeking politicians and commit acts that would derail the peaceful atmosphere in the country. The peace of this nation should be more important to us than the interest of any politician or political party."
The programme was attended by the Nkawkaw Constituency Executives of NDC, NPP, PPP, CPP and URP, and was chaired by the Chief of Kwahu Daa, Nana Makye Appah II.
He appealed to the Kwahu West Municipal Assembly to address the poor state of the road network in the area.
Nana Appah pointed out that with the rehabilitation of the road it would assist the police to respond to emergency issues, as well as violent occurrences during Election 2012.