Political differences should not hinder us

Despite our religious, social, cultural, ethnic and political differences, we have coexisted as a nation since gaining independence from British colonial rule in 1957.

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We owe gratitude to our forebears who fought for our freedom. As the current generation, it is our responsibility to uphold the unity and stability they have bestowed upon us.

Though our 67-year journey of independence has seen some ethnic, religious and political tensions, we have persevered as one people and one nation. This unity stems from hard work and mutual respect, regardless of our differences.

We should commend ourselves for the peace and stability we continue to enjoy. As we approach another general election to choose our president and parliamentarians, we must guard against anything that threatens to divide us.

Our cultural, religious and political diversity should unite us towards achieving our national development goals. Ghana stands out as an oasis of peace and democracy in the region, and it's imperative to maintain this status as we head into another election.

The stakes are high, so we must reject all forms of divisiveness that could lead to chaos. We urge all citizens, especially politicians vying for office, to prioritise the nation's peace and unity over personal ambitions. A divided nation cannot be led effectively.

We must remember that political leaders come and go but Ghana remains. Let us unite in peace and prioritise our country's development and well-being above political affiliations.

As a secular state governed by the constitution, our paramount interest should be peace, unity, stability and development. Our focus ahead of the 2024 election should therefore be on promoting unity and inclusiveness.

This requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders in the electoral process and citizens, regardless of our political, ethnic or religious backgrounds, to foster national unity and inclusivity.

Promoting respectful dialogue among citizens, political parties and leaders is essential to sustaining peace, unity and stability. Political parties should collaborate on common goals to demonstrate our unity in diversity.

The media play a crucial role in educating the public about the electoral process and encouraging tolerance and acceptance of diverse opinions. Balanced reporting, devoid of sensationalism and divisive rhetoric, is essential.

The Daily Graphic will continue to uphold the true principles of journalism during this period as we have always done. We call on the National Media Commission to implement campaigns against hate speech and divisiveness on the airwaves and television.

 We equally encourage the National Commission for Civic Education to continue in the execution of its mandate by intensifying community education and emphasising the importance of safeguarding peace and unity.

Most essentially, we urge civil society organisations (CSOs), educational institutions and religious leaders to play an active role in fostering a peaceful electoral process. CSOs can organise community fora, debates and workshops to encourage dialogue and understanding among citizens.

They can also monitor the electoral process right from the limited voter registration stage to the declaration of the election results to ensure transparency and fairness. Educational institutions have a vital role in shaping the attitudes and behaviour of students, most of whom are first-time voters, towards a healthy electoral season.

They must also raise the consciousness of our young ones towards civil responsibility, using this electoral season as a springboard.  Religious leaders, as trusted figures within their communities, can use their platforms to promote messages of peace, unity and cooperation.

They can facilitate interfaith dialogues and collaborate with other religious groups to promote social cohesion. We are of the strong conviction that by implementing these strategies, we can create a more united and inclusive environment for the 2024 election, ensuring a peaceful and democratic process.

So, while political differences are natural in a democratic society, they should never lead to disunity.

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