Fear Grips Peace Council

  Chairman of the National Peace Council, Rev Professor Emmanuel Kwaku Asante

The National Peace Council (NPC) is worried about the level of polarization in the country ahead of the December 7 general elections.

At a press conference in Accra yesterday, Chairman of the council, Rev Professor Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, expressed fear that “the current level and spate of violent clashes between the NDC and NPP have the potential to foul the political atmosphere during and even after the elections.”

The NPC is, therefore, concerned about the continuing violent confrontations between supporters of especially the two leading political parties – the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP).

“There is the widespread feeling that the growing political polarization and ethno-regional feelings have been exacerbated by the cycles of recurrence of the pre/post election turbulence in the country,” chairman of the Council noted, insisting, “The recent skirmishes between supporters of the NDC and the NPP cast a slur on Ghana’s hard earned democratic credentials and image.”

The NPP and the NDC have been slugging it out in turf war ahead of the December polls, with recent clashes occurring in Koforidua, the Eastern Regional capital, where some supporters from both sides were brutally injured.

Ahead of that, some NDC fanatics had also invaded the Nima residence of the NPP presidential candidate, leading to some skirmishes amidst gunshots.

In all these, the silence of the Peace Council has been deafening, raising concerns among Ghanaians about the relevance of the body, especially in the face of naked display of hooliganism said to be perpetrated by supporters of the NDC who appear to be above the law.

Rev Asante commented: “This fact should awaken all Ghanaians to the reality that electoral violence is possible in our country.”

The NPC chairman condemned such acts of violence, provocation and impunity, but fell short of scolding incumbent President Mahama for his recent tribal comments which had been criticized by many concerned Ghanaians.

Speaking at a rally at Jirapa in the Upper West Region, President Mahama said the NPP vice presidential candidate, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, can never be president or lead his (Bawumia’s) party because he is of Northern extraction.

President Mahama claims NPP does not recognize Northerners.

But when the issue came up at the press conference and Rev Professor Emmanuel Asante was specifically asked what he made of the president’s comments, all he said was, “I don’t think that tribal factors must influence our elections in this country.”

He added, “We must vote for Ghanaians who have the competence, the capacity, the ability to rule a nation; and once we do that, it will help us a lot.”

He called on supporters of the NDC and the NPP to exercise caution and circumspection as they embark on their political activities.

“It’s pertinent to note that Ghana is bigger than any political party and that political hooliganism and violence have never been a legitimate mechanism for ascension to political power in any part of the world,” he emphasized.

The National Peace Council, together with the National House of Chiefs and the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), would hold a high level meeting on Wednesday, November 23, to promote peace in the country before, during and after the elections by assembling political leaders to sign a peace pact ahead of the polls.

Source: http://dailyguideafrica.com/


Date: 11/22/2016



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