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Opinions of Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Columnist: Abdulai, Alhaji Alhasan

Only clean, decent campaigns good for 2016 elections

By Alhaji Alhasan Abdulai

Former president Rawlings hit the nail right on the head when he appealed to traditional rulers to speak out against indecent words especially in the run up to the elections in November. He said this when two chiefs visited to invite him to their festivals.
The astute politician with long experience in campaigns has definitely realized some violations in discussions and messages being churned out in electronic and print media these days that do not augur well for good politics. He knows that it is the traditional overlords who are better placed to advise the old and upcoming politicians who are their subjects to behave well in their activities. As a father of the nation his call is in the right direction for it would rope in not only the chiefs but also religious and community heads , market leaders and heads of schools and civil society leaders to jump into the fray to give a helping hand. Former president Kufuor has on a number of occasions advised politicians to guard against character assassination lies and insults in much the same way as some religious leaders and heads of civil societies have done. Having realized the merit in this direction, it is now time for all political leaders to whip their underlings and office holders especially the communication staffers into line to learn to be civil in their utterances on radio, television and on political platforms. When this is done, we might either experience a reduction or an end to insults unnecessarily hurled on political leaders and innocent members’ of political parties especially parliamentary aspirants. Yes some descent people have in the past jumped out of politics for fear of being insulted and cajoled or besmeared with fabricated scandals while attempting to run for parliament or the presidency. Those using the social media must also be told to desist from churning out false information directed at political leaders and men in high places except when they are giving information that are factual. Otherwise their indecent words can also lead to reprisals in which they could be attacked physically or dragged to courts on libel suits that have led to some electronic and print media suffering from huge fines. In order to have lasting solution to this suggestion there is the need for the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) the National Media Commission (NMC) and education authorities to move in to play their parts. While the media commission goes in to sensitize radio, television and newspaper owners to take control of their programs to ensure only decent words are churned out to the public, the NCCE should as of right exercise their mandate by going out there as they intend to do into communities, churches to educate the masses and politicians to play it safe using decent words without the intention to use cutlasses , acids and guns while campaigning. The schools should not be left out but be involved in the program to catch the children young while they are growing up into becoming men and women with good manners when they get into politics. This is important because political activities that include lobbying and campaigns on platforms are meant to choose leaders by the masses but not pursued as war or physical conflicts that end up in blood bath and conquest. Fortunately Ghana is known worldwide as one of the most peaceful nations of the world whose people are warm hearted and friendly. We have so far chosen leaders without interruptions or serious constitutional problems since we began our march into the fourth republic from 1992. The entire people of the nation are aware of this and are therefore required to work hard to promote peace in the run up to the elections. The police and security system as a whole are ready to protect the ordinary people during conflicts. They could also advise politicians on the fringes to be careful during campaigns on political platforms and in discussions on radios and televisions. While the former presidents, religious leaders and chiefs engage the people in counseling and sensitization programs they themselves must stay clear from partisanship and the uttering of provocative words and open campaigns for one political party or the other. That can inflame conflicts to cause mayhem. It is important for parents and family heads to also come in to counsel their children who engage in politics by behaving well during the campaigns. This is because the behavior of the politicians would have positive or negative impact on the reputation and the good name of the families concerned. While commending our leaders for raising alarm on wrong campaign strategies it in important for the entire people of Ghana to listen to their advice to work together for the common good of the nation for under the constitution of the 4th Republic, Ghana is required to be one nation, one people with a common destiny and that those things that unite us (such as our cultures and religions and communal spirits) are more than partisanship that some people wish to wrongly use to divide us. Therefore let’s remain united in our families and religious groupings and communities and be each other’s keeper. Long live Ghana!, long live our political and religious leaders and the peaceful people of Ghana.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
EANFOWORLD FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
0244 370345/ 0264370345/0208844791 abdulai.alhasan@gmail.com/eanfoworld@yahoo.com