The National Peace Council (NPC) has called on Ghanaians to eschew all forms of violence to ensure peace during and after the elections on Monday.
Mr David Normanyo, Volta Regional Executive Secretary of NPC, said Ghana had an enviable reputation to protect as a beacon of democracy in Africa and it was the responsibility of Ghanaians to avoid activities that would mar the electoral process.
He said this at a day’s workshop for political party youth activists from the National Democratic Congress (NDC), New Patriotic Party, Ghana Union Movement and People’s National Convention.
It was organised by the National Commission for Civic Education in partnership with the European Union and aimed to ensure violent free elections, transparent and a peaceful political environment in the country.
Mr Normanyo said to guarantee a peaceful and united Ghana during and after the elections, all three forms of violence namely direct, structural and cultural must be avoided.
“When we talk about violence, we concentrate only on physical assault. But that’s just one aspect of direct violence.
The other is verbal which refers to intemperate language use. We also have what can be termed the structural, where the system is such that it disadvantages some people from standing for positions as can be seen with some religious sects.
And then we have the cultural which comes about when we don’t speak against the two forms I mentioned earlier. Example, if we have young political activists going on radio insulting the elderly and society looks on, it will be assumed as the norm. So, to be on the safer side and not endanger our democracy, let’s guard against all these forms of violence.”
Mr Philip Adzomadi, Keta Electoral Commission Director, who took participants through the voting steps, called on all especially politicians to take the electoral laws seriously and abide by them to guarantee a smooth process.
Mr Emmanuel Tay, Constituency Secretary, Keta NDC called on parties not to engage in hate speech and political intolerance as the dangers of such could result in conflict leading to the erosion of Ghana’s democratic gains.
Another participant, Mr Kenneth Duodu, who said “politics is not war” called on all to keep the peace, stressing even if people received money to foment trouble, “know that Ghana is bigger than what you took.”