The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) has expressed deep concern over the recent use of violence and intimidation in politics.
The council said the growing phenomenon had already led to deaths and destruction of several properties.
“The growing political violence has become a major threat to our growing democracy and national peace ahead of the 2016 general election,” the council stated.
Dialogue on ideas
In a statement issued in Accra and signed by the General Secretary of the CCG, Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, the council said: “We in no uncertain terms condemn all forms of violence, coercion and intimidation tactics deployed by some individuals within the various political parties to usurp governance structures and authority in the name of politics.”
“We are of the firm belief that politics is about influence. Politicians must be able to convince people to follow them and do their bidding through ideologies and internal political structures as enshrined in our Constitution,” it said.
According to the council, politicians must demonstrate their strength and influence by their ability to dialogue and engage others based on ideas, rather than mobilising people to insult, attack and to some extent kill in their quest to exert their authority.
“The use of coercion by some politicians to have their way on matters that were not in their favour was extremely frightening.
“It is now obvious that people who challenge those who are perceived to be untouchable within the political circles are not safe.
“We, therefore, call on the various political parties, the Electoral Commission, the Ghana Police Service and other stakeholders to immediately make efforts to address political violence in the country as we prepare for the 2016 general election,” the council said.
It stated that as a council, it would continue to use its various platforms to educate its members and the general public on the need to dialogue and use the legal structures to address their concerns and eschew violence.
“In the same vein, we are ready to facilitate mediation and peace building within our body-politic whenever necessary.
“We will continue to pray for God’s blessing and protection for our nation as we prepare for the 2016 general election,” it added.