Politics of Sunday, 1 September 2013
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), has urged Ghanaians, especially the various political parties and their supporters, to maintain the peace, after the Supreme Court verdict.
The Commission pointed out that in almost every corner of the country, there were increasing recognition that sustainable peace and development were bed-fellows and urged the citizenry to nip in the bud anything that would derail the prevailing peace the country was enjoying.
This was contained in a statement signed by Mr Pontius Pilate Apaabey Baba, Upper East Regional Director of the Commission and copied to the Ghana News Agency on Thursday just after the verdict by the SC on the 2012 election petition.
He stated that “the 2012 election dispute adjudication appears to be one of the potential test cases for progress in Ghana’s democracy”
The statement further congratulated Nana Addo Dankwah Akuffo Addo for accepting the verdict and also congratulated President Mahama, stressing that “this symbolizes unity among Ghanaians.”
Mr Baba explained that Article 64 of the 1992 constitution states that the validity of the election of the president may be challenged only by a citizen of Ghana who may present a petition for the purpose to the Supreme Court within 21 days after the declaration of the results of the election in respect of which the petition is presented, and said this was exactly what was done.
“Although disputes are good for democracy, through them the shortcomings of democratic systems are brought to the fore for redress to push the nation towards development,” Mr Baba added.
The Regional Director of the Commission stated that elections were fundamental in all democracies as they emphasize the sovereignty and supremacy of the citizenry, adding that, in view of this, it was important to tactically manage the expectations of the people after the Supreme Court’s verdict.
Mr Baba explained that it was in this direction that the NCCE, with support from Star-Ghana and the European Union (EU), intensified its peace education by creating an enabling environment for community engagement on the election adjudications in all districts in the region to ensure that peace was sustained and consolidated in Ghana’s democracy before, during and after the election verdict was announced by the Supreme Court.
According to Mr Baba activities, such as screening and discussions of films on post-election violence, how to promote political tolerance, how participants could develop strategies to sensitize their followers to avoid violence and accept the verdict of the Supreme Court without any negative reactions were carried out.
The Regional Director commended the various stakeholders in the post-election education, including the political party youth activists, traditional authorities, the GPRTU, women’s groups, security agencies, Inter-party Dialogue Committees (IPDCs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) and opinion leaders, among others, for their contributions in educating and calming the people until the verdict was announced.