Accra, April 19, GNA – Mr Elvis Afriyie-Ankrah, Deputy Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, has called on civil societies involved in the country’s economic and political processes not to allow themselves to be intimidated by any group.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah said they should come out boldly to state their positions on issues that borders on national interest and denounce mayhem.
“Stakeholders interested in the advancement of the country’s economic and political processes should do well to adopt a common platform to safeguard the country’s peace and development by holding to account unguarded statements by people,” he said.
In a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency in Accra, on Thursday, Mr Afriyie-Ankrah cited bodies like the Ghana Catholic Secretariat, Christian Council of Ghana and National Council of Chiefs to come out boldly to denounce without fear or favour, infractions, which had the potential to derail the country’s peace process.
“Other bodies like the Centre for Democracy and Development, Institute for Economic Affairs should also come out boldly and state their candid positions on issues which could easily inflame the passions of the masses to indulge in acts that could throw the country into confusion,” the Deputy Minister said.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah said Ghana was not a bonafide property of the Government or any organisation for that matter, adding that, “Nobody, be it government or otherwise should engage in obnoxious acts which would ignite emotions and sentiments among the broad masses of the people”.
The Deputy Minister said as watchdogs of the country’s economic and social well-being, organisations whose line of activities were to regulate the conduct of the country’s economic and political life should descend heavily on organisations which were bent on causing confusion in the country.
He said Civil Society Organisations had a critical role to ensure that individuals and organisations that incited some people against others were brought to order.
“Civil Society Organisations should not keep their mouths shut and allow persons to go scot free with their unsavoury comments, which does not augur well for the country’s economic and political development,” he said.
Mr Afriyie-Ankrah explained that Ghana should learn from countries which were plunged into chaos and economic dislocations as a result of reckless statements by people especially on the airwaves.
“Our stakeholders should be bold in pointing out mistakes of all manner of people and organisations that make reprehensible comments which easily offend public sensibilities and could incite them to riot,” Mr Afriyie- Ankrah added.