The United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Dr. Mohamed Ibn Chambas has called on Ghanaians to demonstrate political maturity and work together to consolidate the peace of the country, by conducting peaceful elections during the upcoming polls.
He made the call at a national stakeholders’ dialogue in Kumasi, organized by the National Peace Council (NPC), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), to promote peaceful elections. Dr Ibn Chambas also urged Ghanaians to guard against hate speech, which can inspire violence.
“Election is about competition of ideas and not hate speech. So, we must ensure the youth continue to positively contribute to peace, to let Ghana emerge once again as the beacon of hope in West Africa”, stated Dr Ibn Chambas.
Ambassador Baba Gana Wakil, the Resident Representative of the Economic Community of West African State (ECOWAS) in Ghana, added that, it is important “to get the youth to moderate their behavior on election day to ensure that Ghana becomes the winner of the elections”.
The Resident Coordinator of the UN in Ghana, Charles Abani, also pledged the UN’s support to ensure that the election process is inclusive and peaceful.
In his remarks, Mr. Simon Osei Mensah, the Ashanti Regional Minister, advised the media not to be in a hurry to send out information without cross checking and pleaded with all Ghanaians to be promoters of peace. He said, “peace is fragile and priceless. Let us use dialogue to resolve issues, not a feast, not a gun. We must walk peace and talk peace, for without peace there will be no development”.
The Right Reverend Christopher Nyarko Andam, Ashanti Regional Chairman of the National Peace Council, also urged Ghanaians to maintain peace in the December 2020 elections and beyond.
Other speakers at the dialogue include Nana Effah Apenteng, the Omanhene for Bompata, and former Ghana’s Ambassador to the UN; Mr Benjamin Bannor Bio, the Ashanti Regional Director of the Electoral Commission; Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, former Board Chairman of NPC; Mr. Affail Monney, President of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA;) and Regional Representatives of Political Parties, who all called for credible and peaceful elections.
Participants at the event include members of political parties, traditional and religious leaders, the Electoral Commission, the Police Service, the National Commission for Civic Education, the Judicial Service, civil society, media, women and youth groups, and academia, all from regions in Southern Ghana.