Politics of Thursday, 8 November 2012

Source: Daily Graphic

Politcal party supporters must be tolerant - Boadu-Ayeboafoh

The General Manager of News Papers at the Graphic Communications Group Limited, Mr. Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh has entreated political parties and their supporters to be tolerant and show maturity in their respective political discourses as the country prepares to go to the polls next month.

He equally pointed out that “Ghanaians in general have a collective responsibility to ensure that the country remained peaceful before, during and after the 2012 general elections”.

Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting organised by the GCGL for various political parties in Tamale on Thursday, Mr. Ayeboafoh cautioned that “you do not have to kill yourselves because one party or the other has not won the elections”.

According to him, in advanced democracies like the United States of America, the victory of President Barack Obama in the US polls is seen as a victory for Americans.

“I would therefore wish to appeal to the various political parties to ensure that their supporters particularly in the various constituencies understand that victory for one party is victory for all”.

“We must together as Ghanaians rally behind who ever emerges as the choice of the electorate until one is given the opportunity again to elect his or her choice”, the GM observed.

The beauty of democracy, he said was to listen to statements expressing divergent views although one might not agree with those statements.

Mr. Ayeboafoh stated that the objective of the meeting was to find out the commitment of the political parties first towards a peaceful elections and then secondly to gauge their level of commitment towards the political parties’ code of conduct.

This, he said was to encourage peace at both the regional and national levels.

“We therefore wish that as representatives of political parties you would factor in your commitment to peaceful elections in all your political discourses” he further stated.

He also explained that holding of such meetings was in response to some complaints by some political parties to the effect that they were not being offered adequate coverage on their various political activities.

He intimated that as a step towards making up the shortfall in covering political party activities, the company decided to attach reporters and cameramen to the Presidential Candidates of some political parties.

“Even if we recruit a good number of reporters we still cannot cover every candidate across the length and breadth of the country” he noted.

In a speech read on his behalf, the Northern Regional Minister, Mr Moses Mabengba commended residents of Tamale for the manner in which they conducted themselves during the recent Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) debate in the Metropolis.

He entreated residents to continue to promote peace in the run-up to the elections.

The minister equally commended the GCGL for introducing the programme and noted that such a step only showed that the company was a pacesetter in contributing to the country’s democratic dispensation.

Mr. Mabengba noted with keen interest that the good reputation built by the company over the years was not by chance but borne out of the quality managerial practices and journalistic standards that the company continue to uphold.

The Northern Regional Director of the National Commission foe Civic Education (NCCE), Alhaji Abdul Razak Saani, one of the participants in an interview, commended the GCGL for the programme as it gave the opportunity to the local people to be part of the wider national political activities.

He urged other media houses to emulate the gesture but suggested to the management of the GCGL to organize similar programmes for the local communities in the various constituencies.

The Meeting was on theme “Projecting the key issues for a peaceful election 2012”. It is a regional platform for the discussion of key issues that matter to the people in the December elections.

Representatives for five political parties, the Convention People’s Party (CPP),the People’s National Convention(PNC),the New Patriotic Party(NPP),the National Democratic Congress(NDC) and the Progressive People’s Party(PPP) attended the Meeting.

It was also attended by participants from civil society groups, the NCCE and the assemblies.