Reverend Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, a former General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, has advised the various religious bodies and civil society organisations (CSOs) in the country to go beyond peace campaigns ahead of the 2020 elections and educate and sensitise the electorate on issues to enable them to make informed choices.
He expressed concern that campaigns undertaken by the various religious bodies and CSOs had focused on promoting peace, unity and stability while issues that bothered on the livelihoods of the citizenry were not addressed.
Rev Dr Opuni-Frimpong, who is currently the Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Christian Advocacy Africa, urged religious bodies and CSOs to “step up their game” beyond peace, stability and campaigns.
“Although such campaigns were essential, the time has come for voters to be sensitised and educated on the actual issues facing the country to guide them to select leaders who have the capacity to solve their problems and challenges when elected into office.
“How can we educate and sensitise the Ghanaian electorate to be aware of bread and butter issues so that they vote solely on the issues that confronts them and not their ethnic or personal relationship with a particular candidate?
“Over the years, election consideration has centered on peace, unity, stability don’t fight, we don’t want bloodshed, it seems to me CSOs, faith-based organisations must lift up their game to how do we make election 2020 issue based, moving from the tension, vigilantism, and bloodshed.
“Next year we must work towards peace, unity, stability but we must go beyond them because the campaign must be more on issues, we can have enlightened voter community moving into the future, democracy must give us more than what we are witnessing today.
“The 2020 polls will be crucial, it will be the first election to be conducted by the chairperson of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Jean Mensa following her appointment by the president in July 2018, the passage of the vigilantism and related offences bill will also add to the seriousness of the 2020 elections as the law will be applied.
“They will require all stakeholders to brace themselves and work to forestall any challenge may arise, moving into 2020, it seems CSOs, political parties, faith-based institutions, media houses, and other agencies must get ourselves ready,” Rev Dr Opuni-Frimpong cautioned. -abcnewsgh.com