Politics of Wednesday, 30 May 2012

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IFPAD Statement on Biometric Exercise

The executive and general membership of above mentioned organization, wishes to add our voice to that of civil society organizations on events, before during and after the just ended biometric voter registration exercise.
Aside some hitches that threatened to mar the exercise in its first 10 days, we must express pride in the level of maturity exhibited thereafter, resulting in a largely peaceful second, third and fourth phases of the exercise.
We wish by this medium to commend Government for releasing the necessary funds and other support mechanisms to the Electoral Commission (EC) to prepare adequately to run the process of sanitizing our electoral books which has in the past been labeled as ‘bloated.’
The EC is another candidate that stands in pole position for praise, relative to the way and manner in which its staff and personnel across the country conducted themselves over the period even in the face of glaring danger in some areas.
The National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) in our opinion has done well with the level to which they championed the publicity effort which was without doubt the driving force behind the entire process.
But above all, we laud the average Ghanaian for their unrelenting efforts at maintaining the long cherished peace that the country has enjoyed and continues to do so, despite the words and deeds of some elements (social and political) being far from what is expected in the times ahead.
We are by this statement also calling on all stakeholders in the political assembly to commit ourselves to maintaining the peace and serenity we have as the tempo builds to the general elections, during and after the process in choosing who leads our country for the next four years.
We hope Government will as a matter of urgency, release the necessary funds and support to the EC to be able to prepare adequately for the coming elections.
The EC should increase their engagements with political parties at the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC) level. It should make sure that verification of all ‘challenged’ registrations are sorted out within the shortest possible time.
Ghanaians keenly await the results of the just ended exercise, which we trust the EC is feverishly working on how to get the real figure out. We appeal to them to resist any external influences (especially political).The political temperature is heating up because persons on all sides of the divide are engaging in crude and unrefined politicking.
We wish to state categorically that words that boarder on violence and incitement should be condemned in no uncertain terms by all and sundry irrespective of who, where, why and how it is said.
The media should also censure panelists and contributors who use insulting, derogatory and inflammatory language and references. Hosts of radio programs especially should stand their grounds and put contributors right in the best interest of Ghana.
We wish Civil society organizations led by the Peace Council, would continue to make it a point to foster unity and peace before during and after this period. The NCCE must also intensify its educational campaign from NOW till the time of elections.
Politics should not be a point of divergence but rather of convergence and forging ahead towards the accelerated growth and development that politicians on all sides of the divide trumpet on their campaign trains.
The things that unite us far outweigh those that threaten to divide our ranks. We must stand for our convictions and above all, that for unity and togetherness; this indubitably is the way forward for our country.
Act. Deputy Executive Secretary