Revulsive political utterances recipe for chaotic election …this must stop

Media reports have it that the Ashanti Region­al Police Command has initiated steps to get the Youth Organiser for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Suame Constituency of the Ashanti Region arrested to face justice, for calling on supporters of his political to attack persons of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the run-up to the 2024 General Elections.

This follows a widely circulated video of the said members of the NDC inciting members to find brutal methods to win power in the next general elections.

Such utterances directly or indi­rectly spark and spur up electoral violence. Riots during elections include any acts or threats of coercion, intimidation, or physi­cal harm perpetrated to affect an electoral process or that arise in the context of electoral competition.

It is used to influence the out­come of elections; to delay, disrupt or derail polls; and to protest elec­tion results or suppress protests of election results. Electoral violence is used to influence the outcome of elections because some political parties believe at some point that they cannot win through fraud alone and therefore employ such criminal tactics.

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Times without number, such have been condemned by many people and institutions including political party leaders but ironically, these are the same people who either do it or persuade their fol­lowers to perpetuate such criminal political acts.

More worrying is the intra-party conflicts currently within the two major political parties in the coun­try. This also could easily escalate into national security if politicians do not control their emotions and sentiments when contesting for party positions.

Politicians must be extreme­ly careful in their actions and utterances which unduly whip up the sentiments of their followers who in most cases do not under­stand contexts but react chiefly on the emotions of their political leaders as was seen during the past intra-party elections of these two major political parties.

Obviously, this creates unneces­sary fear and causes panic among the citizenry and also has the potential to plunge the country into civil war after the 2024 elections. It must be noted that Ghanaians are not expecting any form of war and are also not prepared to go to war before, during and after the 2024 general elections. politicians must therefore stop making statements that threaten the security of our beloved country.

if politicians do not avoid such attitudes which breed confronta­tion, they would only build strong foundations for societal anarchy and ultimately have an undue bear­ing on national elections.

There is a danger in the man­ner that politicians outsell their emotions to win the sympathy of their followers because of votes, such situations must give way to mutual understanding and unity for good purposes during intra-party elections.

Political conflict indicates a scenario where the behaviour of the political leader manifests itself in a confrontational way to promote their interests and try to stop other actors from obtaining their objectives, this is disastrous to any form of society.

Peace-loving political parties must ensure security orientation for their key members who have the potential to influence follow­ers and help them to be circum­spect in exhibiting all forms of emotions as party faithfuls are always moved by such tenets of their leaders.

When party loyalists are persuaded by the emotions and tenets of their leaders, they are consciously or unconsciously prepared psychologically for conflicts and the slightest party or national issues would be triggered into violence no matter where and who is involved.

No well-meaning politician will ever instruct his followers to go to war or indulge in violence. What normally happens is that followers have been uncon­sciously indoctrinated by their leaders’ utterances and actions to act when there is a small issue.

The infamous Ayawaso byelection chaos in January 2019 is still fresh in the memory of some Ghanaians. In most cases, such had undercur­rent political issues. People involved in such violence believed they are fighting for a good course for their leaders.

Ghana is now at a crossroads with severe economic hardship and the troubling issues of galamsey, the in­flux of refugees in the upper regions and intra-party elections, for Presi­dential candidates must not degener­ate into a confrontation which may escalate into national security issues.

Ghana is already late in develop­ment and we must not encourage or engage in anything that will further worsen our situation

Politicians should be guarded and measured in their statements in order not to disturb our fragile peace by raising political temperature and ten­sion due to the dire economic climate in the country.

Internal political party politics should stay within the confines of party politics and not needlessly in­trude into the national space to create

Unlike the campaigns of the past, advances in media technolo­gy have strengthened the process giving candidates more options to reach even larger groups of con­stituents with very little physical effort. Today, people are glued to media more than ever. Information dissemination has become easier than before. Again, there is so much interest in the sophisticated and intriguing manner information is disseminated. The youth in par­ticular who also form a huge part of the voting class could be easily reached with campaign messages. So therefore political

Up until now, there have been some electoral disturbances recorded. Despite these troubling signals, Ghana’s political transi­tion ultimately has been the envy of the entire world. Even though some political operatives disputed certain election results and accused one another of rigging in the past, all accepted the result in the end by and large without any major problem.

Out of all the ups and downs, Ghana’s current democratic dis­pensation has flourished and been extremely successful. There must be no reason for this enviable feat to be thrown at the dogs. There is an urgent need therefore to guard against this with all zeal and forti­tude. Ghana has been the winner all this while and we need to work hard to continue to be pacesetters for other countries.

Political leaders must choose words and actions that keep tense political environments from escalating. Together, these prac­tices will bolster the credibility of the electoral process, enabling the candidates and the general public to accept the results.”

The National Peace Council, The National Commission on Civil Education, Churches and mosques must have it as a primary duty to continue sensitising and encouraging people, especially political activists to understand and appreciate the urgent need to be highly civil and circumspect in the utterances and acts to ensure peace and tranquillity.

Voting, we know so well, is essential because it pushes a country’s democracy to function in a fair and equal way. The whole point of a democracy is to ensure that everyone has a chance to elect a candidate and vote for policies that represent and benefit their communities, but not to kill nor to put other citizens in an unpleasant situation.


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