Thursday, September 18, 2008

Election is about ideas not violence-NCCE

     Mr Ebenezer K. T. Addo, a member of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) said the pending general elections was about ideas, intellect and not violence.
     He said the elections were vital for the growth of the country's democracy and a test of the tolerance level of each individual.
     Mr Addo was speaking at a durbar of chiefs and community members at Shama on Monday.
     "Our differences do not make us enemies and we could achieve much more if we worked together as a team instead of fighting ourselves," he said.
     Mr Addo said elections have been certified worldwide as the most effective and safest way of changing the leadership of any nation.
     "We can resist persons, parties and groups that influence us to enter into violence by reporting them to the law enforcement agencies and refusing to collect monies from them in exchange for our votes," he said.
     Mr Addo stressed that Ghanaians must value the prevailing peace in the country and resists all attempts by any individual to create confusion or destroy the prevailing peace.
     "Nobody has monopoly over the nation and we must only choose people who conduct themselves orderly, respect our rights as citizens and have something better to offer us," he said.
     Mr Addo said the choice of an individual on Election Day, is secret, valuable and neither religion nor race, neither sex nor education, should be used as a criteria to disenfranchise anyone, who had been duly registered by the Electoral Commission (EC).
     He therefore appealed to chiefs, opinion leaders and parents to counsel and educate their children on the proper conduct of themselves before, during and after elections.
     The Youth must also avoid acts that could lead to their prosecution and imprisonment, he said.
     Mr Addo said the churches and mosques must also prepare their members to participate fully in the election, but should not use intimidation and other acts to compel its followers to vote in a particular pattern.
     He stressed that defacing of party posters, use of abusive language on other party supporters, deliberate disruption of rallies and other party activities were all offences that will be prosecuted by the law enforcement agencies.
     Mr Joseph A. Arthur, Presiding Member of the Shama District Assembly who chaired the function, said the family system was long in existence before partisan political activities came, and no one should allow any political activity to divide their homes.
     He said it was sad that while politicians acted as one people, the supporters have become intolerant and usually engaged in fights, killing, maiming, and destruction of homes and properties of innocent people.
     Mr Arthur said politics was the sharing of different ideas that could lead to development and that people must not allow the divergent views to destroy existing relationships and families.
    Mr Edward Nti Berko, Regional Director of the NCCE said all Ghanaians must choose peace in place of violence and see each other as one.

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