By D.I. Laary
Accra, Dec 18, GNA – The Greater Accra Regional office of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) have organised a forum aimed to deepen and sustain post-election peaceful coexistence.
The citizen forum for peace brought together political party representatives, members of the Greater Accra Regional Inter-Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC), Civil Society Organisations, and several other stakeholders to deliberate over the way forward to sustainable peace.
The meeting was organised with support from the European Union and West Africa Network for Peacebuilding to explore just-ended Ghana’s 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections in Greater Accra from citizens and CSO’s perspective.
Mrs Hulliet Lucille Annan, Greater Accra Regional Director of NCCE, reminded citizens of their right to express their views on national issues but cautioned everyone to be mindful of their utterances so that it did not escalate into violence.
“People have the right to express their disagreement in the form of going for demonstrations but it is just also everybody’s right to enjoy peace of mind,” she said.
“So if you think you have the right to demonstrate you should also know that you must do that within the law and don’t break the law by damaging anybody’s property.”
Mrs Annan called on all political actors to make proper use of the available means of redress and amicable settlement of disputes provided in the constitution and work together towards peaceful coexistence for speedy growth and development.
“We should all come together as one people and then work together in unity and foster our economic improvement so that we can live as Ghanaians peacefully,” she added.
The NCCE is mandated to educate people on Ghana’s 1992 Constitution to appreciate its content and defend it against all forms of violations so that people could coexist peaceably.
Chairman of the Greater Accra IPDC, Rev Canon Okaijah Bortier, noted that the voting process of the just-ended general election was better off than the district level elections, saying, “By and large, the 2020 elections, minus the collation, was peaceful.”
He called for calm from all quarters of the political divide and said there was the need to analyse issues arising out of the polls and emphasize peace and justice, stressing, “We should challenge the process to ensure things are done right.”
He added, “With our omissions and commissions, we drive peace away….don’t live peace in the hands of politicians.”
Rev Bortier also cautioned the public and political party representatives, both winners and losers, to be cautious of their utterances and statements, stressing, “Let’s all respect each other.”
Mr Ali Ibrahim, Research Assistant at FOSDA, said a research conducted by the organisation showed the election was generally peaceful as people voted without intimidation or fear, but added, “violence happened after the polls have ended.”
He reported that 14 violent incidents were identified and two deaths, quoting from a police source.
While calling on everyone to be peace ambassadors, he condemned violent acts that were reported in some parts of the country and called on the police to work quickly to bring the perpetrators to face the law.
Mr Ibrahim urged those who had issues with the electoral process to seek justice through the law courts.