Mr. Abdallah Abubakari, Northern Regional Minister, has called on politicians to make this year’s elections “a battle of ideas” and not violence to win the hearts and minds of the electorate.
He made the call in a speech read on his behalf, during the launch of the Peaceful and Credible Elections (PeaCE), and the Strengthening Community-led Initiatives for Peaceful and Credible Elections (SCOPE) projects in Tamale.
The PeaCE and SCOPE projects aim at ensuring peaceful, democratic and credible elections through increased voting rights and youth confidence in the registration and voting process, as well as reducing rejected ballots.
Mr. Abubakari said the electorate would be better placed to make informed decisions on who to vote for, when politicians espouse ideas during the elections, instead of resorting to violence.
He underscored the need for all to work towards peaceful elections this year, adding that it could be the basis for national development.
Mr. Abubakari urged candidates to desist from declaring themselves winners of the elections ahead of the formal declaration by the Electoral Commission to avoid violence.
He urged all to respect state institutions as they undertake their functions to ensure successful elections in November.
Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCOP) Ken Yeboah, Regional Police Commander, whose speech was read on his behalf, urged all to abide by the rules and regulations governing the conduct of the elections to ensure peace.
He said the security agencies are up to the task to maintain peace before, during and after the elections.
Professor Agnes Apusigah, Member of the Steering Committee of STAR-Ghana urged all to work towards successful elections in November assuring that STAR-Ghana would continue to work to promote democracy and development of the country.
Mr. Alhassan Mohammed Awal, Executive Director of NORSAAC underscored the need for stakeholders in the elections to trust state institutions and work towards strengthening them for a better service delivery.
Mr. Sumani Mohammed Awal, Executive Director of the Centre for Active Learning and Integrated Development (CALID) said various strategies including use of community thumb-printing clinic facilitators and community election peace teams on issues-based campaigning would be adopted to ensure success of the projects.
CALID and NORSAAC are implementing the PeaCE and SCOPE projects with support from STAR-Ghana, a multi-donor pooled funding agency, in eight districts in the Northern Region including Bunkpurugu/Yunyoo, West Mamprusi, Tolon, Central Gonja and Tamale metropolis from April to December this year.