Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Election 2016: Another Test For Ghanaians

By Felix Kwaku-Dua
There is no doubt the political temperature is gradually rising as the various political parties in the country are gearing up for the upcoming general election especially as we have some few months for Ghanaians to exercise their franchise to elect who they deem fit to rule this sovereign country.
Worldwide, Ghana is noted for being a peaceful country and the upcoming election is going to put Ghana to another test as it is another avenue for the good people of this country to prove or justify what they are noted for.

For election to be peaceful, most depends on electorates, staunch party sympathizers and other stakeholders.

But I think this leaves a lot of work on the political parties, traditional authorities, religious leaders, security agencies and other corporate organizations who can also in their small aid in preaching peace ahead of election 2016.

The aforementioned stakeholders must work assiduously by having discussions on issues of peace and political tolerance as we have some few months to go to the polls.

The king of the Asante kingdom, Otumfuor Osei Tutti II as part of his efforts to lower the political temperature ahead of the 2016 general elections, has decided to engage all the flag bearers of the various political parties for a golf match. This is a step in the right direction. It is the hope of the monarch that playing a game among themselves will send the right signal to their followers and also will make them see themselves as team players working for mother Ghana rather than rivals.
This move is also to send a strong signal to party sympathizers that despite our political affiliations, we are still Ghanaians.

Religious leaders and political parties especially must regularly have talks with their adherents in order to minify any mayhem or acts that have the tendency of fomenting trouble or destruction.

The National Commission on Civic education (NCCE) must also play their role by educating the general public on the do's and don'ts of the election. It is very imperative that they go every nook and cranny of this country to educate the electorates especially those who turn eighteen (18) recently about electoral processes.

We must discourage the following habits on day of the election; drinking before going to the polls, wearing of party paraphernalia, attacking polling agents and assistants, multiple voting, using of abusive words on the flag bearers of the various political parties among other synonymous acts that has the tendency of triggering violence.

Election 2016 is another opportunity for the people of Ghana to prove to the world that we are indeed a peaceful country with a common destiny. The youth especially must avoid being used as an instrument to foment trouble as the political temperature is gradually rising.

As we head to the polls, I will entreat more organizations to join other stakeholders in this course to campaign against violence since Ghana is the only place have.
* Felix Kwaku-Dua is a commentator on public issues

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