It was a perfect example of a nation with a common destiny when representatives of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the Offinso South Municipality mounted the podium at a forum on peace advocacy at Offinso.
The usual rivalry between the two main political parties was surprisingly absent as they touted the peaceful co-existence between them despite having different political ideologies.
The NDC represented by its Parliamentary Candidate, Mr. Haruna Yussif, and the NPP’s second Vice Chairman, Mr. Dauda Afriyie exhibited political maturity when they praised each other for their tolerance in local politics in the area.
Organised by the Ashanti Regional Peace Council, the forum was to expose participants to the Vigilantism and Related Offence Act as well as the roadmap and code of conduct for the eradication of political vigilantism in Ghana.
It was attended by representatives from the Electoral Commission, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), NDC, NPP, and the Municipal Assembly.
Mr. Wilson Arthur, the Ashanti Regional Director of NCCE could not help but to applaud both parties for giving true meaning to political tolerance, which the Commission had always advocated.
He said the two parties in Offinso South had shown the way for others to follow to bring the needed peace in our political discourse.
“This is what we have been advocating. You have demonstrated that politics is not about insults and character assassination but a contest of ideas to improve the lives of the people”, he praised the two parties.
He said Ghana had accepted to practice a multi-party democratic system under the fourth republic and it was important for political actors to respect the views of opponents to foster peace in our democratic dispensation.
He said political vigilantism was a threat to national development and reminded the youth of the dire consequences to their future if they allowed themselves to be used to perpetrate violence.
Madam Margaret Boafo-Atiemo, a Member of the Ashanti Regional Peace Council, said electoral violence was a threat to Ghana’s democracy and must be collectively tackled by all stakeholders.
She said the forum formed part of steps being taken by the National Peace Council to engage all relevant stakeholders to eradicate activities of vigilante groups from the electoral process.
She entreated the EC to constantly engage the political parties on its activities to eliminate any suspicion which could trigger violence ahead of the December 7 election.