Political temperature in CR high
The politicians are criss-crossing the length and breadth of the Central Region campaigning for votes. The region’s political temperature is very high, but institutions and the electorate have one message for all of them, “do all but leave our region’s peace intact.”
The Central Region is generally peaceful and voters in the region despite their excitement about the election have reiterated a firm commitment towards a peaceful, free and fair election.
They all believe none of the politicians is worth the region’s peace.
Several interviews with some of the electorate indicate that the people would rather vote for peace.
“I will vote but no politician is worth my peace of mind.”
Maame Adwoa Boadu, a tomato seller in Cape Coast, said she would not trade her peace for anything.
“Why should I follow a politician and cause violence when he doesn’t know where I stay?” she queried.
Others said they would vote for a government that has their well-being at heart.
Kwame Atta, a mechanic, said he would vote for development and a better life but added that those could only be achieved in a peaceful environment.
“Whether change or no change we want our peace. I think nobody must disrupt the peace of Ghanaians because he wants to be President,” he said.
High turnout expected
They all said they would vote. Hopefully, turnout would be impressive.
“I am guarding this thumb carefully so nothing would happen to it so that am able to vote,” Kukua Quartey told the Daily Graphic.
She said Ghanaians must not say they would not vote and allow a few to vote and choose a leader for them. “We must all cast our votes on election day,” she said.
Kofi Asare, a teacher, said he had kept his voter identity card safely. I am a Ghanaian and it is my civic responsibility to vote and I will not shirk that responsibility,” he said.
Institutional level commitment
Institutions in the region which are connected to the conduct of a peaceful election are also working even harder to ensure that the region’s peace is left intact after the election.
The Central Regional Director of the Electoral Commission, Mrs Philomena Adusei, said the commission was ready for the election, saying all materials were ready for the election. She stated that the commission did not anticipate many hitches.
She said the Central Region had 2,482 polling stations and 572 electoral areas, adding that she was optimistic voting would be peaceful.
She said the EC had already given all information on flashpoints to the police and the military and said she was hopeful everything concerning security would be under control.
The Central Regional Police Commander, ACP Kwame Tachie Poku, in a statement on the command’s readiness for the election to the regional coordinating council, stated that the police was ready to combat any violence that might erupt in the region.
He said the police had deployed personnel across the region to ensure the election was incident free and as peaceful as possible.
He, however, warned that the police would not spare anyone who would foment violence before, during or after the election.
In an address on his behalf at an all Christian prayer session for peace, ACP Tachie Poku said police personnel would themselves not want to be refugees in other countries considering the lessons and experiences they have about war in their peacekeeping assignments.
He stated that as Ghanaians themselves, they would do everything possible to ensure that the nation’s peace was maintained.
He said the police had identified many flashpoints in the region in the coming election but added that the police and its sister security agencies were more than poised to ensure a violence-free election in the region.
A statement issued from the regional police command said the police had concluded its deployment plan, saying security personnel would be deployed to all 2,482 polling stations in the region.
It warned all to desist from flouting any law of the country during the period, saying criminal offences would be dealt with according to the laws of the land.
Mr Nicholas Ofori Boateng said the National Commission for Civic Education had had several successful education campaigns on how the people must preserve the region’s peace.
He said every resident must consciously work to preserve the peace in the region.
He said any misbehaviour that was likely to disrupt the peace in the region must be avoided totally before, during and after the election.
Mr Boateng said maintaining the peace depended on Ghanaians and not any other country, adding that no amount of donor support could buy a nation’s peace if the citizens themselves were not peace-seeking.
“It doesn’t matter how much any donor country spends to ensure peace; we must ourselves want peace to have peace.”
Decorum and decency
He said all must be decorous and use decent language before, during and after the election, while avoiding all forms of violent behaviours.
Various faith-based institutions are also working to get the election to be successful and incident free.
The Ghana Evangelical Committee, a Christian organisation, in collaboration with the Council of Churches in the region, has held a non-denominational prayer session to pray for the nation’s peace. The occasion was also used to educate the congregation on the need to join the campaign for a peaceful election.
The Bishop of the Central Regional Council of the Lighthouse Chapel International urged all Ghanaians to vote for leaders who would build a better nation.
The youth wing of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Movement has also organised a peace walk in Cape Coast to remind Ghanaians of the need to safeguard the nation’s peace.
They held placards advocating peace, social harmony and political and religious tolerance and later converged on the Cape Coast Metropolitan Assembly where they prayed for the nation’s peace.
The Missionary of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission in Cape Coast, Mr Ustaz Ibrahim Arkoh, said Ghanaians must not take the nation’s peace for granted.
He said the Ahmadiyya youth had been educated on the need to avoid actions that would disrupt the nation’s peace.
“We have spoken to the youth and we are sure they will do all they can to promote peace,” he stated.
The people of the region are ready for the election.
Civil and religious organisations are ready to vote tomorrow, but their utmost goal is to cooperate for a peaceful, free and fair election.