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General News of Monday, 28 November 2016

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Patriotic Professionals Ghana calls for peaceful, credible elections

Patriotic Professional Ghana (PPG) is calling on all stakeholders in Ghana's elections including the international community to take steps to ensure peaceful and credible elections.

The group says Ghana’s election fulfil its aim of ensuring that citizens’ participation in the governance process.

“In our part of the world election periods are scary moments, with everybody sitting on tenterhooks until the final whistle is blown, mainly because of egocentrism, greed and fear of unfair election management,” said the statement signed by PPG’s Public Affairs Director, Ibrahim Yussif Bangsua.

Read the rest of the statement below:

PATRIOTIC PROFESSIONALS GHANA-PPG CALLS FOR PEACEFUL AND CREDIBLE ELECTIONS

Patriotic Professional Ghana-PPG is calling on all stakeholders in Ghana's elections including the international community to take steps to ensure peaceful and credible elections.

Elections all over the world are exciting events that ensure citizens participation in the governance of their country. However in our part of the world election periods are scary moments, with everybody sitting on tenterhooks until the final whistle is blown, mainly because of egocentrism , greed and fear of unfair election management.

Ghana has successfully gone through this event six times from 1992, thereby winning the accolade 'beacon of hope in Africa', PPG is, therefore, unable to understand why the 2016 version of this recurrent event is characterised by violence, ethnocentrism and official unprofessionalism.

A few days ago,the residence of the flag bearer of the opposition NPP, Nana Akufo Addo was the scene of violence between the private security of the opposition leader and supporters of the governing party. A few months ago, a gentleman lost his life in the Asawase constituency in an election-related violence, the perpetrator is yet to be subdued. Scores of violence have been reported in many parts of the country including Sunyani, Odododiodio, and Eastern Region.

In all these what is very loud and deafening is the silence of the police service and the security agencies. It is our opinion that such officious silence is undesirable. The security forces must be seen working faithfully, diligently and professionally without fear or favour.

The electoral commission of Ghana which is seen as the most experienced in Africa south of the Sahara has also come under intense criticism. In many circumstances, it has been seen singing the same song with the ruling party.

This is not a healthy development since such acts compromise the credibility and integrity of the process. We believe that only a credible election would be accepted by the citizens of Ghana.

The media is expected to play a neutral role and give an accurate report, however, some of them have sidestepped their professional duty and have engaged in sensationalism and biased reports. A lot of circumspection is needed by the media to ensure that Ghana comes out of the elections peacefully.

Ethnicity, which is the quickest button to triggering conflicts has also gained deep grounds in the 2016 electoral process with the first gentleman of the land playing a key role in this regard. This is very unfortunate and must not be condoned at all.

These challenges if not expeditiously dealt with may have a dire consequence on the country.

We, therefore, call on all professionals who have a role to play, especially the electoral commission, the security agencies and politicians to exhibit the highest professionalism to ensure a peaceful and credible elections.

PPG also calls on the international community to make conscious efforts to force all stake holders to succumb to best practices in the elections.

In this regard we do not only support moves by the UK and the USA to freeze visas of politicians until the election has ended, we also call on them and all other countries to stop issuing new visas to politicians, and all major stake holders until the election has ended peacefully. This would ensure that each and every one of them works as an ambassador for peace in the elections.
As a professional body, our doors are open to the electoral commission, the security agencies, the political parties, the international community and all other stake holders in this election, to offering both technical and legal advice.

We wish Ghana a peaceful and credible election that would be accepted by all.
Long live Ghana, long live PPG.

SIGNED

Ibrahim Yussif Bangsua

(Public Affairs Director)

0501368682