A board member of the Coalition of Domestic Observers (CODEO), Sheik Aremeyaw Shaib, has bemoaned the increasing spate of inciting comments from political parties especially as the country gears up for the general elections this December.
He said this trend is worrying and should be a concern to all Ghanaians, especially the culture of vituperation and verbal abuses, which is becoming a part of Ghana’s political process.
Sheik Aremeyaw Shaib’s observations are coming on the heels of mixed reactions from the general public, especially persons in the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC), to comments by the National Youth Organizer of the NPP, Anthony Karbo, who had charged the party’s youth to be fearless and militant, and face-off with their political opponents during the elections.
A Political Science Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Amakye Boateng, has said the call by the NPP National Youth Organizer can cause the party’s defeat in the December elections.
The National Youth Organizer of the NDC, Ludwig Hlodze, also described Anthony Karbo’s comments as unfortunate: “…especially coming out from a thanksgiving [service] less than a week [ago] asking for a peaceful election. So you can see that the whole statement makes a total mockery of the thanksgiving service they had.”
Sheik Aremeyaw Shaib in an interview on Joy FM’s News night programme noted that, comments that incite people “must worry every well-meaning Ghanaian,” as somebody who is a participant in election monitoring and also interested in ensuring that there is peaceful elections particularly in this year, “I must be worried,” he stressed.
According to him, there have been precedents where such comments have raised so much concern in the country, cautioning: “election should not be a reason why people should sound militant… or invoking certain expressions that will incense people or incite them into a kind of violent behaviour because election must be won.”
He said the adventurism of the youth is sometimes misplaced and misdirected stating, “We have to be careful, the youth are really a national asset and they need to be made to understand the role that they need to play in our quest to entrench our democracy in this country.”
To him, “we have a country that we want to bequeath to young people who have the potential to rise up and to take up leadership [positions] and also to promote the process of our democratization, so if today the same people are those that we use so that they can destroy the very foundation of the democracy that we want to establish through violent behaviour, I think every Ghanaian in this country must be worried,” he concluded.
But Anthony Karbo is unrepentant about the comments. He believes some mischievous people want to misinterpret his comments for political reasons. He told Dzifa Bampoe on the same programme that his comment was meant to encourage his members to be combative against anyone who wants to derail the democratic achievements gained so far.
“I don’t think that it is out of place to make statements like that. The word militant as being used here, my friends on the other side [NDC] are struggling so hard to put their own slant on it… I don’t think it amounts to asking them to take up arms.”—Myjoyonline.com