The National Peace Council (NPC), has intimated that it remains unperturbed by incessant unsavoury comments and vile political colouration of its activities with attacks targeted to impugn its reputation with unfounded political allegations aimed at creating disaffection among the populace.
It reminded the public that members of the Council are men of high integrity and repute from their respective fields and not puddles to be manipulated by any politician or political party.
Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the Council, expressed the sentiment at the eighth Annual Sandwich Conference organised by the Faculty of Social Sciences of the University of Cape Coast (UCC).
It was on the theme: ‘Paving the way for a peaceful, free and fair election 2020: The role of the state and non-state actors.’
Rev Prof Asante revealed how some politicians in the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) had maligned him with verbal assaults and doubted his professionalism, neutrality and integrity as a Christian leader.
He cited several instances including the 2012 elections saying, “When it became clear that the NPP, was not going to accept the presidential result, the council arranged a meeting with stakeholders and deliberated on the issue, we finally advised the NPP to go to court and I was verbally abused in the media for that decision.”
Rev Prof Asante appealed to politicians to stop politicising activities of the council, allow institutional governance structures to function effectively and efficiently to give meaning to democracy, freedom and justice and recalled its mandate as an independent statutory national peace institution established by Act 818 in 2011.
“There’s need for collective efforts and stringent measures to nib in the bud recent ravaging political violence, tension and thuggery associated with elections, the phenomenon remains scar on nation’s democratic dispensation, stifling growth and development and derailing international reputation as beacon of peace,” he cautioned.
Kwesi Jonah, a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), who took the audience through retrospection of the country’s electoral history, lauded political parties for democratic gains regardless of snags in electoral laws.
“Regardless of all imperfections with political parties, I wish to commend them for their good organisational acumen, continuous improvement in systems and structures which has resulted in high voters’ turnout in elections, maintained national peace and cohesion,” he noted. –GNA