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Support security agencies to ensure peaceful elections — Kobby Asmah

BY: Samuel Duodu & Mohammed Fugu
Mr Kobby Asmah  addressing the pariticipants
Mr Kobby Asmah addressing the pariticipants

The Editor of the Daily Graphic, Mr Kobby Asmah, has urged the public to support the security agencies by providing them with timely and necessary information and intelligence to enable them to maintain law and order before, during and after the December 7 polls.

He said the security agencies alone could not deal effectively with security challenges in the country, without the support and collaboration of the public.

The editor also cautioned miscreants who intended to foment trouble and create a sense of insecurity in the country to desist from any such acts for the sake of the peace and development of the country.

"Crime has no political, religious or ethnic colouration. Anyone who commits crime will, therefore, be made to face the full rigours of the law,” he added.

Event

Mr Asmah was speaking at a Town Hall meeting dubbed: Graphic Corporates in Ghana Peace Campaign”, in the Northern Regional capital, Tamale, yesterday.

The programme is geared towards sensitising and educating the public on their civic responsibilities of ensuring peace before, during and after the elections.

It is a Graphic Communications Group Ltd (GCGL) initiative, in partnership with Spring Consult and with support from a number of corporate institutions.

The event brought together traditional leaders and representatives of civil society organisations (CSOs), political parties, youth groups, the security agencies, among others.

The participants committed themselves to preach peace to ensure incident-free elections.

There was also a panel discussion, during which panellists, drawn from the National Peace Council (NPC), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), the Ghana Police Service and the Electoral Commission (EC), led discussions on what their respective institutions were doing to ensure peace in the electioneering process.

Admonishment

Mr Asmah admonished political actors and parties to move away from the mentality of winning elections at all cost and also desist from deploying thugs to polling stations to foment trouble on election day.

"The recent political clashes at Odododiodoo in the Greater Accra Region, in which a number of injuries were recorded, and similar reports of violence in other parts of the country have sounded the alarm bells.

"Elections are just a contest of ideas and not grounds for conflict. All politicians need to do is sell their vision and plans to the electorate," he said.

Accurate reportage

The Managing Director of the GCGL, Mr Ato Afful, in a speech read on his behalf by the Director of Marketing, Mr Franklin Sowa, advised against sensationalism and inaccurate reporting of political events by media practitioners, saying that practice could create confusion and conflicts.

He said the GCGL would continue to use its various platforms and digital media to present true, accurate and balanced reports for the public to sustain the prevailing peace in the country for accelerated development.

He said the company considered the peace initiative as significant because of the potential for many areas in the country to descend into violence "if we do not take issues of peace seriously".

"Yes, the police will do their job, but a lot depends on the citizens’ resolve to ensure peaceful elections,” he added.

Mr Afful further appealed to the people to save their strength to vote, instead of using it to engage in violence, saying: “It’s in our collective interest to protect our peace now, during and after the elections."

Commitment

For his part, the Chief Director at the Northern Regional Coordinating Council, Alhaji Alhassan Issahaku, expressed the commitment of the council to ensure peace during and after the polls.

He said the council had put in place stringent measures to ensure the safety of the electorate and officials of the EC.

Alhaji Issahaku commended the GCGL for embarking on the campaign and called on other media organisations to emulate the example to help safeguard the peace in the country.