Dr. Eric Oduro Osae, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research at the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS), has asked the academia to support the Electoral Commission to carry out successful elections.
He cited that just as it occurred during Nigeria’s last elections, Ghanaian scholars can serve as electoral officers and helpe in checking figures or tallies of votes as well as educating the electorate on their rights and responsibilities during the December polls.
“Academia is key to calming tension ahead of the general election. Its status as the true conscience of the society is needed to persuade even aggrieved parties to pursue peace”, Dr. Osae said.
He was speaking at the 2016\2017 matriculation ceremony of the ILGS on the theme: “Promoting peaceful and credible multi-party elections in Ghana: The role of Academia”, in Accra on Friday.
Seventy-eight graduate freshmen and women pursuing local government Master’s programme, including administration and organisation, financial management, economic development and environment science, policy and management as members of the Institute were inducted into the school.
Dr. Osae said the role of the academia would be meaningless unless society benefits from their expertise and urged those who belonged to that fraternity to preach peace.
He said “people in academia must join the Electoral Commission to pursue the needed reforms whilst building consensus for a credible election.”
Dr. Osae said the academia through its research and objective analysis should support political parties to resolve inter and intra party conflicts.
He urged for collaboration between the academia, civil society organisations (CSOs) and development partners to effectively manage the abuse of incumbency.
Dr. Osae asked the academia to support the nation’s effort at tackling the potential isolated pockets of violence, which could mar the integrity of the elections.
“To ensure policies by politicians inure to the benefit of Ghanaians, academicians must offer advice based on empirical evidence and good research, balancing it with practical policy alternatives that gives politicians various options to choose from”, he said.
Dr. Abdulai Darimani, Acting Director, ILGS, congratulated the students on their admission into the institute and urged them to take advantage of the opportunity to enrich their knowledge to be able to contribute to national development.
He noted that the Institute was on the verge of receiving approval from the National Accreditation Board to offer three bachelor and one diploma programmes.
Dr. Darimani reiterated the institute’s commitment to offer quality education to ensure effective running of the local government sector.
By Claude Nyarko Adams and Dinah Twumasi