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Let’s avoid hate speech, indecent comments ahead of elections – NPC to Political Parties

Dr Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), has asked political parties to shun hate speech, inciting comments and other indecent expressions on any platforms ahead of the 2024 elections.

He said the political leaders must lead that charge as role models.

Dr Adu-Gyamfi gave the advice when the NPC in partnership with the Star Ghana Foundation organised a two-day national-level training for representatives of various political parties on Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

The training was to enhance the knowledge and skills of political parties on ADR mechanisms for addressing intra and inter-party conflicts in Ghana.

He said peacebuilding was a never-ending process which required a never-ending effort by all stakeholders to help sustain the peace of the country.

‘We in the Peace Council are not against criticisms from individuals nor groups. But in criticising the Council or any other institution, you do not have the right to insult and denigrate the institution with the intent
ion whether conscious or unconscious, to create disaffection,’ he added.

The Peace Council Chairman said election-related tensions, violence and sometimes deaths were becoming cyclical in Ghana.

‘Since the fourth republic, all elections have seen mounting tensions and considerable violence. This is not healthy for our democracy. These situations could have security implications as there seems to be mistrust among stakeholders in the election management system,’ he noted.

To address the issue and break the cycle of mistrust, Dr Adu-Gyamfi said the NPC had lined up strategic activities with the optimism that it helped particularly in the 2024 General Election.

‘Protracted election-related disputes give us cause to worry because insurgents are always lurking around to use our vulnerabilities for their nefarious ends.

‘We as the Peace Council, are engaging with the Chief Justice to find a reasonable mechanism that will assure disputants in elections at the parliamentary level to have justice within the accep
table time limit that will not deny the contestant and his or her constituent their rights to representation as required by the 1992 constitution,’ he disclosed.

Dr Vincent Azumah, Head of Monitoring and Evaluation, West Africa Network for Peacebuilding, said the trust was more valuable than any loan one could secure from anywhere in the world and encouraged the representatives to work hard and sincerely to win the trust of the populace.

‘No single individual is resourceful and influential enough to make your party attain power like your individual selves, so be mindful of what you do or say on your political platforms,’ he advised.

Mr Alex Nartey, Coordinator, Alternative Dispute Resolution, Judicial Service, speaking on the topic: ‘Understanding Conflict to Aid Conflict Transformation’, defined conflict as a relationship between two or more people who have or think they have disagreeable objectives.

He implored the parties to ensure that they protected the peace the nation enjoyed, saying: ‘The conduct
where you are so loud and sometimes insult on the radio with the intention of getting a position when your party wins power is not a good thing and so stop it,’ he advised.

Mr Remy Paa Kow Edmundson, the National Secretary of Progressive People’s Party (PPP), in an interview with the Ghana News Agency, lauded the NPC for the training programme, saying it was timely considering the petty conflicts in some of the political parties amid internal elections ahead of the General Election.

Source: Ghana News Agency