Members of the committee in a photograph with the MCE (seated in middle)
Alphonsus Arthur, Sekondi-Takoradi Metropolitan Director of the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), has warned that the use of intemperate language, incitement and other irresponsible political conduct by politicians could cause violence in the country in the December general elections.
“Peace may elude us as a country if politicians continue to look out for only the negative things about their opponents or insult each other,” he noted.
He indicated that Ghanaians were missing the good things democracy offered since the people were always at each other’s throat but claim to live in peace.
“I believe the various freedom our constitution guarantees individual did not mean freedom to insult and attack our perceived political enemies”, he added.
Mr. Arthur made the disclosure at the inaugural ceremony of the metropolitan Inter-Party Dialogue Committee in Sekondi last Friday.
The nine-member committee has Godfrey Nana Nyanney, Western Regional correspondent of the Ghanaian Times as its chairman.
Among the functions of the committee is the creation of the platform for fruitful deliberations on issues toward the smooth execution of electioneering activities.
Mr. Arthur mentioned that election had necessary become the only democratic means for selecting presidents and parliamentarians to govern the nation using the people’s mandate.
He noted that the efforts of the people had contributed in making Ghana a beacon of democracy and hope in a sub-region that grapples with widespread electoral malpractices and disputes.
He claimed that the media had promoted unity in the country but succeeded in setting confrontational agenda by providing listeners with unsubstantiated allegations, lies and insults.
“This undermines national cohesion leading to intimidation, polarization and subsequent conflict and war as was the case in Rwanda in 1994 when stations were used to divide that country leading to the killing of some 800,000 innocent people,” he stressed.
He called on media practitioners to abide strictly by the code of ethics of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA) and guidelines of the National Media Commission (NMC) on the coverage of the general elections.
He also advised political parties and all candidates to observe all rules and regulations relating to the conduct of the general elections.
Inaugurating members of the committee, the Metropolitan Chief Executive (MCE), Capt. (Rtd) Anthony Cudjoe noted that since Ghanaians are one people with common destiny, supporters of political parties should conduct peaceful campaigns devoid of insults.
From Emmanuel Opoku, Sekondi