Politics of Wednesday, 28 November 2012
Source: Cletus Abaare
…but will he concede defeat?
the Standard bearer of the New Patriotic Party was yesterday forced and dragged
to sign on a peace pact that frowns against his ALL DIE BE DIE and WINNING AT
ALL COST slogans he adopted towards the upcoming December 7 general elections.
was successfully achieved on paper after several calls from the Ghanaian society
for him to withdraw the warmongering statement he declared last year to scare
the electorate to vote for him to win these elections by hook or crook means,
by a high-powered personalities in the country.
The Presidential candidate of the NPP
who has been recognized and tagged by international bodies as a dangerous politician
to the peace of Ghana signed the peace pact document together with his fellow
candidates contesting in the December general elections in a bid to ensure they
commit to a peaceful election process by calling their supporters to order when
the need arises.
However, the questions been raised by
the ordinary Ghanaians are whether the flag bearer of the NPP would really
respect the paper document he signed yesterday and would be willing to accept
defeat in the upcoming after declaring on many platforms that he must win the
elections at all cost, regardless the consequences.
He pledge at the pact signing not to
endanger the peace of the nation in any way over the course of these elections.
“The peace that we seek can only be
guaranteed if all parties involved, not just political, play their part in
assuring fair elections. My party has sketched out a program that we believe
can take the country further in development, and we need the support of the
people to govern.
I have fought and stood shoulder to
shoulder with this country’s people in advancing democracy, and I want to be
president of a nation at peace with itself”, he stated.
Akufo-Addo continued “I, like the vast majority
of the Ghanaian people, believe in democracy as the best system of government
under which this nation, under God, should be developed.
The initiative was coordinated by
Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), the Peace Council and the Manhyia
The event was attended by the Ashantes
King, Otumfuor Osei Tutu II, the two former Presidents of Ghana, John Rawlings
and John Kufuor, members of the Peace Council of Ghana, the Chief Justice, Mrs
Therodora Georgina Woode, the Inspector General of the Ghana Polce Service,
Paul Tawiah Quaye, and other dignitaries.
Before the signing of the peace pact, now
known as the 'Kumasi Declaration', the candidates pledged their commitment to
ensuring the country upheld its peace throughout the electioneering period.
The Presidential candidate of the ruling
National Democratic Congress (NDC) President John Dramani Mahama pledged his
commitment to a violence free election because he has been a man of peace who
has led by example.
I have a responsibility as president and
candidate to carry out these roles to the best of my ability and in the
national interest. My government has worked to provide a safe,
complication-free election. We must now rise up as a people and see that
nothing disgraces this reputation. This election can establish our reputation
as perhaps the best democracy in the world.
“Speaking recently at the UN, I invited
people to come supervise our elections. Several declined because they said that
we already have credible elections. The price for freedom and peace is eternal
vigilance. Ghana is held to a much higher standard than some other African
states and our democracy has been said to have matured.
This event will lay the basis for we the
key stakeholders in this electoral process to express our dedication to
electoral peace. We have established solid democratic credentials since 1992 as
our 6th election as a republic draws near”, the President noted.
President John Dramani Mahama said: “I’ll
ask you to pardon me for my scratchy voice, it’s a symptom of campaigning. My
statement will be brief and I want to start by thanking the National Peace
Council for organizing this event”.
He continued that the Electoral
Commission must undertake its task seriously and objectively so that we are
confident in its impartiality. They must keep the love of God and country
sincerely at heart.
“The world is looking at Ghana as an oasis of democracy on this continent, and
all of us must commit to a free, fair vote. Anyone who allows themselves to be
used to undermine the purity of the vote is committing a serious crime, and we
must all stand up against this kind of fraud and electoral violence to ensure
that they are not perpetrated against us, lest we become slaves in our own
I appreciate all those who have
contributed to opening up this platform so that we end up with a president who
really embodies the hopes and dreams of Ghanaians, and in the name of humanity
let’s use our vote to properly select a new president.
The constitution has devised the vote as
the exclusive mechanism to the highest seat in the land. Anyone who tries to
undermine the purity of the vote is committing a serious crime, and certain
servants of the state such as security forces are charged with stopping them.
Paa Kwesi Nduom, the presidential
candidate of the PPP noted that his party was the best alternative party for a
peaceful Ghana. “I want to thank all of you and let you all know that the PPP
is wide awake and will be peaceful, disciplined, dignified, and respectful.
Our single minded purpose is to create
jobs for Ghanaians, but that will not happen if there is not peace. Believe us
when we say that peace is our goal.
I want to talk to the people of the PPP
and thank them for carrying themselves with dignity in the face of provocation.
Even when our people have been attacked or dismissed from their jobs, they
remained respectful and peaceful and I thank them for that. Stand firm! Be
encouraged, be brave, be bold, and do what you need to do, but do it with
respect and dignity”.
He continued that no party has won a
single vote yet, we are all struggling for the votes of Ghanaians, and our
people have experienced some indignities and aggression.
“We also want to affirm to you that our
party will continue on the course of peace and ensure that our stability is
protected. We must also say that because we are disciplined and respectful, we
are not weak.
“We have educated our people, young and
old, to be respectful and discipline, and no PPP member has disrupted the peace
or engaged in violence.
Free and fair elections do not just
happen on voting day, it’s a goal that we build up to throughout the years. In
the past, the process may not have been free or fair, but we the PPP are the
only political party in Ghana whose motto includes the word peace (prosperity
The flagbearer of the GCPP Henry Lartey:
Your majesty Asantehene, former presidents, lady chief justice, National House
of Chiefs, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we of the GCPP believe in peace,
say it with me.
“I want again to thank the National
Peace Council, our former presidents and the other distinguished people who
have come, and to my colleagues in this election, I say that we can make it if
we work together. “I urge our church leaders to pray for peace as we work
towards it, and I thank our traditional rulers for advocating peace. I ask them
to continue to do so in a non-partisan manner.
I am a person of peace, and I have led
by example and avoided insulting my opponents or anyone else for that matter.
In fact, I’ve asked members of my team to take a cue from my character and
communicate as civilly as they can. The intemperate language in politics must
be reigned in if we are to lead our supporters to a violence free future.
We have security forces, new equipment,
and more infrastructure geared towards ensuring electoral safety and
Former President John Agyekum Kufuor: This is truly a historic, symbolic, but
also real forum of the nation in search of the means to secure peace in the
exercise of the most basic right of the citizens of Ghana.
Mr Kufuor noted that they do all sorts
of things as politicians. At the end of the day, the people’s vote may not
yield the result that everyone wants, but at least all stakeholders are alert
to how the vote of the people is delivered pure and straight so that we might
all submit to our collective decision and accept the leader that we choose. If
too many people feel they have been cheated, the arguments could degenerate
into untold difficulties for the entire nation.
He said people here represent the entire
nation of Ghana. I’ve never seen such an event before in my political career.
We’re gathered here because it’s about power, and throughout history people
have done all kinds of terrible things to secure power. We happen to be living
in times when we as a nation have agreed that power should belong to the people
who, as individuals, line up to vote. Anybody wanting to lead us must submit to
the will of the people. When we are fed up, we will vote to replace him.
“We are gathered here on the bidding of
the King of Asante and our elders, the National House of Chiefs, National Peace
Council, and our nation’s religious, civil society, and political leaders.
is important that we accord this occasion its due seriousness and singularity
of purpose. It has been said that a nation without elders is like a boat
without an even keel. This is very true.I want to express my gratitude to the
National Peace Council for hosting such an important forum. The IDEG under Dr.
Akwetey should also be commended”.
We’ve come too far as a nation to allow
the next few days to destroy the gains our political system has made. We must
not fail our people.
The media must also apply strict ethics
to reporting political discourse. Security agencies have an equally important
responsibility to be fair and forthright in executing their duties. The
judiciary must settle electoral disputes with swiftness and fairness to endow
the electoral process with credibility.
Former President Jerry John Rawlings said the tensions in some parts of the
country are real and must not be ignored. “Our leadership has a major
responsibility to give proper counsel to their supporters across the country to
desist from reckless impunity if this meeting is to mean anything. All the
political parties have played a part in this unpleasant state of affairs, but
the presidential candidates of all parties have gathered here to express their
commitment to peace”.
He continued that Ghanaians were alarmed by the vitriolic language flooding our
airwaves adding that “Politicians seek to be as abusive as possible rather than
debating the issues honestly. We cannot sustain this trend and guarantee peace.
It is a catalyst for conflict. I am in no way suggesting that people should be
meek and mild. People should have the right to be responsibly vigilant during
the electoral process. We must thank God that the conflicts were not more
severe. The nature of partisan politics and the tensions that have accompanied
it show that we cannot take our peace for granted.
Since inaugurating our 1992
Constitution, we’ve been blessed by peaceful transitions, although many of
these were marked with uncomfortable levels of tension, violence, and the
Former President Jerry John Rawlings
said that was indeed a full house and he felt very honored and privileged to
participate in this forum. It is significant that we have created such a
valuable forum to seek commitment and consensus on a violence free election.
President of the National House of
Chiefs, Professor Naa Nabila said chiefs will continue to promote peaceful
co-existence. He appealed to all political parties to refrain from engage in
acts that will undermine the peace and stability of the nation. “We have one
Ghana, let us stand for one Ghana.” He also called for greater movement towards
justice, peace and harmony.
He said Public confidence in the ability
of politicians to foster peace is Ghana is currently very low and urged
politicians to send a clear message to their supporters that we need peace.
Reverend Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council, said in his address
that peace has been among humanity’s highest values and urged Ghanaians to do
all to strengthen it.