Editorial: Peaceful election is a shared responsibility
The political atmosphere across the country is now charged as Ghanaians prepare to go to the polls to elect a president and two hundred and seventy parliamentarians come December.
Political campaigns have heated up amidst upsurge of Corona virus Covid-19 threats and what appears to be growing security challenges confronting the nations in recent times where there seem to be a surge in armed robbery cases
These robbery cases that have been on the ascendency are not just worrisome but they have also heightened tension in almost every part of the country as we gear towards the December 7th elections
On top of this worrying situation, is the usual accusations and counter accusations between the NPP and the NDC as to who is planning to rig the upcoming elections.
Admittedly, these staid accusations as well as other dangerous utterances that have already taken shape, arguably incite their followers and their repercussions vividly envisaged.
It is an absolute fact that followers of these parties get charged whenever their leaders resort to trading of wild and weird accusations as well as other tantrums that are rather inimical to national peace, stability and tranquility.
Already, there have been several violent clashes between supporters of the ruling government’s party and the main opposition NDC in the run up to polls.
Notable among these disturbances is a needless clash that led to the death of a young man during the voter registration exercise.
Quit recently, a supposedly peace walk between supporters of the NDC and the NPP in the Odododiodio constituency turned bloody as many sustained gunshot wounds in the process
Admittedly, the incident has seemingly heightened the already charged atmosphere in that constituency adding it to long lists of constituencies identified as hotspots ahead of the elections.
Worryingly, the Ghana Police Service has identified more than five hundred areas marked as hotspots where political violence are more likely to occur before, during and after the next month ‘s general elections
The Chronicle is very much worried about the trend whereby many Ghanaians become disillusioned and have their hearts in their palms every electioneering period because of needless political tension.
Our worry stem from the available empirical evidences around the world which show that no country has gone through post electoral turmoil and returned the same without the turmoil having concomitant effects on the citizenry
On the continent of Africa, many countries have been devastated by political violence leading to the death of thousands of people including children and women while several thousands have become refugees.
In recent times, political unrest in Liberia, Libya and the La Cote d’Ivoire, did not just lead to the destruction of their countries but many precious human lives were lost while several others have become disabled and are still reeling in pains even years after the turmoil.
It is in the light of the above and what we collectively stand to lose together as a people when there is any form of political unrest in our beloved Ghana that we at the Chronicle, are calling on political leaders to be decorous and measured with their utterances.
Our position is that having a credible and peaceful pre and post-election in an infant democratic country like ours, is a shared responsibility where everyone has got an incredible role to play.
It is a fact that many disgruntled and disappointed political leaders, their families and allied security officers who instigated post electoral vehemence elsewhere, could not survive the same violence.
In the face of this widely acknowledged fact we get shock to the marrows whenever leaders of political parties and their activists resort to hate speeches and engage in all sorts of vices that are recipe for electoral chaos and violence
We are therefore, appealing to Ghanaians in general and politicians in particular to think deeply about the peaceful coexistence Ghanaians have enjoyed over the years and make it a point not to destroy it in time.
Posterity and the next generation cannot forgive us should we sacrifice the country for individual interest and desire political power.
Being a beacon of democracy in the sub-region, the world’s eye is currently staring at us as we go to the polls, come December 7th.
As peace loving people, we cannot let down our guard at this crucial time having successfully pulled through seven solid general elections since the inception of the fourth republican constitution in 1992.
We, therefore, call on all Ghanaians to have strong appetite for peace, put Ghana first and eschew any form of temptations and tendencies that could erode our enviable political gains