Diasporian News of Thursday, 6 December 2012
Scores of Africans in Arusha, Tanzania, yesterday tasked Ghanaians to use the country’s Election 2012 to set the tone for new African electoral culture, and to deepen the emerging democratic dispensation.
Ms Consolata Acayo, Public Relations Officer, Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries, Kampala, Uganda, said: “Ghana must demonstrate and lead the new Africa democratic movement where elections would no longer be used as a conduit for civil unrest and anarchy…the loser must graciously accept defeat.
“The winner must also learn to jubilate in moderation and extend hands of comradeship to all irrespective of who wins; Ghana must come out of election 2012 as a united nation”.
Ms Acayo, who is part of a team of communication officers from Ghana, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Burkina Faso, attending Strategic Communication for Development and Advocacy course in Arusha, made the call in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Arusha.
She said: “I wish to advice all peace loving people of Ghana that as you wait to drop your ballot papers in the ballot box on Friday, December 7, keep in mind that the whole of Africa and the world at large is watching you.
“Ghana is a respected country with respectable people, please keep that spirit. Remember that election is like a game, where there are winners and losers, but what I know is that nobody wants to lose, yet all cannot also win at the same time, only one at a time.
“We pray that the political leaders will accept the outcome of the election results and that the winners should appreciate the losers and learn to work with them to build that great country. For to oppose does not mean all your views and ideas are wrong, because they too have wonderful ideologies that can be used to build the nation. We pray and stand with you, and wish you all the best in this forthcoming election”.
Mchafu .A. Chakoma, General Secretary of Tanzania Seafarers Union of the Trade Union Congress, said the election would be crucial not only to Ghanaians but to the rest of Africa.
He said Ghana had always played the leading role towards change and progress on the African continent, and the outcome of Ghana’s election would set the pace for new democratic culture on the continent.
Mr Chakoma appealed to Ghanaians not to allow the elections to divide the country, saying “Use the election of a democratic leader to build a better nation…the loser must accept the outcome gracefully”.
He appealed to the eventual winner to form an all-inclusive government, avoid political harassment of opponents and “be a President for all Ghanaians”.
Mr Jackson Joseph Gahima, Head of Department Research, Policy Information and Communication of Tanzania Teacher’s Union, in a poetic message said: “Ghana shine on, Ghana shine on, do it again as the mirror of Africa.
“A mirror that justifies what each African country ought to do. Ghana you did it in your previous elections, you are doing it and you will do it again…oh a symbol for Africa.
“Am not a poet but for the sake of Ghana, I wish to speak like a poet. Ghana your people will be there for you, just be there for them. Before, during and after the elections many African countries find themselves in hot magma - people displaced, some killed and others with marks of political unrest.
“The good news about Ghana is that as the clock click; tick tack, tick tack, Ghanaians are showing glittering faces and are building up towards togetherness after election. God bless Ghana, God bless Africa”.
Ms Estelle Tankoano-Wedraogo, Communication Manager, Gender National Council of Burkina Faso, described Ghana as a good example of democracy in Africa democracy and appealed to Ghanaians to be guided and build on its democratic integrity.
She said: “Never forget your democratic credentials, which over the years served as inspiration to other African countries…I wish you all peace and love…I love you Ghana”.
Mr Theophilus Tetteh Tuwor, Principal Investigator of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice, Ghana, urged all Ghanaians to turn up in their numbers to vote as it is their civic right.
“Let us make Election 2012 peaceful as Africans and the whole world is expecting much from us,” he said.
Assistant Commission of Immigration Francis Palmdeti, Head of Public Affairs Ghana Immigration Service, said though they were far away in Arusha, Tanzania “our interest in Election 2012 is still keen.
“The political fever has caught up with us in Arusha and the expectation of our friends from neighbouring African countries even makes the burden of conducting a smooth election even heavier.
“African friends regard Ghana as one of the shining stars on the continent, therefore, their expectation of Ghana during this election season is so high that one cannot think their very survival depends on it.
“We do not have a choice regarding conducting a peaceful election for ourselves, posterity and Africa”, Mr Palmdeti said.
Mr Kofi Asare of the Council for Technical and Vocational Education Training, Ghana, reminded politicians that elections were not about violence or competition…they are matters of choices.
“On December 7 your only obligation as a democratic citizen, is to go out and vote according to your choice for a president and a parliamentarian …without engaging in any form of offensive conduct”, he stated.