Naa Dr Puoure Puobe Chiir, President of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs, has appealed to politicians to watch their words and think of the nation and its expected future before they speak.
He said politics is not about war but issues that affect the people and care must be taken in our political discourse to maintain the peace the country is enjoying.
Naa Dr Chiir, who is also the Paramount Chief of the Nandom Traditional Area, said Ghanaians owed it to the dead, the living and posterity to keep Ghana together in peace during the forthcoming elections.
“We have worked so hard to sustain peace over the years and we need to act collectively to ensure that 2016 general elections are violent free, fair and transparent to help consolidate the peace”, he said.
Nandom-Naa made the appeal in a speech read on his behalf by the Gwollu Kuoru, Kuri Buktie Limann at a stakeholders’ forum for peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections held in Wa.
The Konrad Adenaeur Stifftung sponsored the forum which was attended by traditional rulers, queen mothers, political youth activists, security personnel, the clergy and the media
He said Ghanaians need to respect the rights of others as they associate with the political parties of their choice and nobody should do anything contrary to the choice of the electorate in the coming general elections.
“I am happy the President has continuously assured the nation of peaceful free and fair elections. I would urged all actors on the political scene not to throw the caution to the wind but whip their supporters in line to make the peace we yearning for a reality”, he said.
“Let us give ourselves a clean peaceful election. We have done it six times and we can do it again”, the Nandom-Naa said.
Naa Dr Chiir urged functionaries of political parties and their supporters to see each other as having different approaches to the enterprise Ghana but with the same agenda to improve the lot of Ghanaians.
He urged the leadership of political parties to openly condemn violence in all its forms and advocate dialogue and the use of laid down regulations to their supporters and sympathisers.
“In other words, political parties should mobilise and educate party followers and members on the need to avoid violence as part of their campaign strategy”.
Security Agencies, the police in particular must be proactive, decisive and objective in all their actions.
Other bodies such as the Electoral Commission, National Commission on Civic Education, Regional Security Council and District Security Councils should also stick to their respective mandates to make the elections free and fair.
Naa Dr Chiir expressed disappointment at the type of negative news being churned out to the people.
He said the region is already challenged with health, education, poor roads, housing, potable water supply and incidence of various diseases, yet the media is not setting the priorities right to make up for the difference.
The President of the Regional Houses of Chiefs called on the media to refocus its attention to priorities of the people and educate them on issues which undermined their total development.
On politicians paying courtesy call on traditional rulers during campaigns to seek their blessing, Naa Dr Chiir urged them not turn them away but receive them but opine “your neutrality” stance.
“Use the opportunity to canvas for the development of your traditional area and peace among party supporters before, during and after the presidential and parliamentary elections”, said.
“Violent normally erupts when those who are supposed to speak refuse to speak and those who are supposed to act refuse to act”, he said.
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