Stop acts of violence!…Peace Council descends on political parties

The Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante has called for the immediate de-escalation of tensions in the ongoing voters registration exercise by political parties and resort to the laid-down rules governing the exercise.

According to him, there was the need for stakeholders to come to terms with the fact that the peace of the country was paramount and could not be sacrificed on the altar of few self-serving politicians.

‘You need to bring tensions down and begin to educate our followers and all stakeholders to use the appropriate mechanisms to resolve all grievances as a means of protecting the peace we enjoy as a country,” he said.

Prof. Asante made the call in a telephone interview with the Ghanaian Times in Accra yesterday.

He said even though the exercise by and large had been peaceful, the pockets of violence being witnessed at a few polling stations across the country could mar the exercise and spill over into the general elections come December 7.

“There is the need for the security agencies to deal with the few miscreants who are causing troubles at the polling stations without fear or favor. This must be done irrespective of the status or political affiliation of those found to be engaging in these acts,” he said.

Touching on the measures put in place to ensure peace before, during and after the elections, Prof. Asante said the NPC was embarking on education of stakeholders including the political parties on the issues of vigilantism.

He explained that as part of the educational campaign, the political parties were enjoined to reflect on the Act 999 2019 passed by parliament in connection with banning of vigilantism.

“We believe that with education, people will know the dangers posed by vigilantism,” he emphasised.

Prof. Asante said one of the underlying causes of tension within our electoral system, was the issue of mistrust, adding that, “There is too much mistrust in the system to the extent that the very institutions that have been put in place to handle our affairs are not respected by the stakeholders.”

The chairman of the Peace Council said the media had the critical role in de-escalating tensions in the country by ensuring that bad language was discouraged in our politics.

“Language is very important as it can either increase or reduce tensions. Let us pluck out bad nuts and expose the good ones,” the NPC Chairman said.

He said this was the only way by which we can safeguard the peace and security of the nation even after elections.

BY CLIFF EKUFUL

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