Protecting our democracy: A call to action for peaceful elections

Our nation’s democracy has long been a shining example for our peers in West Africa and the world, offering a beacon of hope for countries struggling with authoritarian rule. 

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As a bastion of stability in a region plagued by military takeovers, terrorist attacks and destabilisation, Ghana's democratic success is a precious gem that must be safeguarded. We must recognise the importance of protecting our democracy by avoiding harmful activities such as hate speech, discrimination, conflicts and harbouring unknown individuals which can attract saboteurs and undermine our peace.

Fortunately, the security agencies have been vigilant, monitoring our borders and conducting military exercises along border communities. The National Security Secretariat's "See Something, Say Something" slogan has also played a crucial role in maintaining national tranquility. Building on this foundation, the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has launched a targeted civic education initiative to address potential threats to our democracy.

This timely intervention aims to conscientise citizens about the dangers of monetised politics, fake news, religious manipulation and violence in the electoral process. By empowering citizens with knowledge, civic education enables them to elect quality leaders, uphold the rule of law, and understand their rights and responsibilities.

As the NCCE Chairperson, Kathleen Addy emphasised, civic education is essential for consolidating democratic governance and fostering a culture of integrity, patriotism and participation.

The Daily Graphic commends the NCCE for targeting the youth in this civic education campaign, recognising their vulnerability to exploitation by saboteurs. As the country prepares for crucial elections on December 7, 2024, all stakeholders must support this initiative to ensure its success.

The upcoming election, which pits Vice-President, Dr Mahamudu Bawumia, against former President, John Dramani Mahama, requires informed choices from the youth to sustain our democracy.

Elections should be a celebration of ideas, not a battleground for violence and intimidation. Political opponents are not enemies and superior arguments should attract votes, not bullets. Ghana's democratic journey over the past 30 years has been remarkable, and we must continue to strengthen our democratic dividends by promoting peace and civility during electoral campaigns.

The media also has a vital role to play in this campaign, refraining from providing platforms for hate speech and misinformation. Instead, we must amplify the voices of reason, truth and tolerance. By supporting the NCCE initiative, we can uphold our country’s  democratic principles and maintain the peace we enjoy.

As citizens, we must be interested in a peaceful election this year because it is crucial for the country's democratic stability and development. A peaceful election ensures that the nation can maintain its reputation as a beacon of democracy in Africa, attracting investors and fostering economic growth. 

Moreover, peaceful elections guarantee that the voices of citizens are heard and their choices are reflected in the outcome, strengthening the country's democratic governance.  A peaceful election this year is also essential for maintaining our national unity and cohesion.

Our diverse population requires a peaceful electoral process to prevent polarisation and conflict, ensuring that all citizens can coexist harmoniously regardless of political affiliations. By promoting peace, Ghanaians can avoid the devastating consequences of electoral violence such as loss of lives, displacement and property destruction.

Ultimately, as citizens, we have a vested interest in a peaceful election this year because it directly impacts our well-being and future. A peaceful election guarantees that the country can continue to enjoy stability, economic growth and development, leading to improved living standards and a brighter future for generations to come.

By prioritising peace, we can ensure that our democratic rights are protected and our beloved country remains a shining example of democracy in Africa. Our democracy has been a shining example for the continent, inspiring other countries to strive for similar success.

Our democratic stability has attracted investors, fostered economic growth and improved living standards. We must continue to nurture this democracy by promoting civic engagement, transparency and accountability.

Let us join forces to promote peace, civility and informed choices during the upcoming election. Together, we can ensure that our democracy continues to thrive, inspiring generations to come. 

We owe it to ourselves, our children and the African continent to uphold our democratic principles and maintain our position as a beacon of hope for Africa and beyond.

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