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General News Fri, 12 Sep 2008

FOSDA calls for ballots, not bullets

Accra, Sept. 12 GNA - The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA) on Friday called on presidential candidates of the various political parties and well meaning Ghanaians to ensure that the December 7 elections are held in an atmosphere of peace by putting Ghana first. A statement signed by Ms. Afi Yakubu, Associate Director, FOSDA, expressed concern about the increase in intolerance as well as the use of inflammatory and abusive language in the media. The statement also expressed concern about the recent incidents of armed violence unleashed by supporters of rival political parties which affected several households in Gushiegu and Tamale in the Northern Region.

FOSDA said it was concerned about last weekend's clash between the security of the President and that of the flag bearer of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) during the Afahye festival in the Central Region. It said the parties should collectively work towards ending the campaign of violence, intimidation and the increasing and never ending abusive and inflammatory language on FM Radio stations, newspapers and rallies.

The statement also called on the Ghana Police Service to ensure that all offenders were prosecuted in a transparent manner in keeping with the laws of the country. It said, the Police should investigate the complaint about the distribution of weapons to supporters of political parties in recent times. This is one way in which confidence could be built and sustained throughout the period of the elections. The statement said every effort should be made to speed up outstanding grievances that continued to fuel clan and political passion. The statement also urged government to find rapid solutions to tensions in the north, especially Dagbon, the killings in Bawku and other incidents of armed violence. 12 Sept. 08

Source: GNA