Withhold visa for politicians till December polls are conducted - Rev. Narsh
The project manager of Ghana Peace Award (GPA) Rev. Professor Emmanuel Narsh, has called on embassies in the country to stop issuing visas to politicians until the December 7 polls are conducted.
He said the move would ensure that politicians did not engage in acts that could plunge the country into violence, adding that “when politicians know that they cannot leave the country at any point in time during this election period, they will be decent in whatever they do or say.”
Prof. Narsh also advised appropriate agencies to monitor, name, shame and sanction media outfits that allow their outlets to be used to create violence and tension.
He was speaking at the launch of the maiden Ghana Peace Awards ceremony (GPA), an initiative to reward individuals and institutions which are committed to ensuring peace in the country, in Accra on Thursday.
The initiative, which is scheduled to take place on October 29 this year, is under the auspices of the Stability Foundation International (SFI), in collaboration with state institutions such as the National Peace Council (NPC), the National House of Chiefs (NHC), and the Ministry of the Interior.
The event is meant to honour individuals and organisations that contribute to peace and unity in the country.
Thirty-two categories, including humanitarian and service, human rights, courage of conscience, man of peace, presidential peace, media peace, and inter-faith peace awards will be presented at this year’s awards ceremony.
Prof. Narsh observed that institutions that had the obligation to maintain and sustain peace ought to act in a manner that would help remove all oppressive structures from society.
He said social institutions such as the NPC, the NHC and other civil society organisations (CSOs) ought to get involved by holding politicians who engage in violent campaigns to check.
“In order to maintain and sustain peace in the country, these institutions ought to act responsibly in order to remove all oppressive structures that are inimical to national peace and stability,” he added.
Prof. Narsh called on the Electoral Commission (EC) to apply the electoral laws firmly without discrimination, since any attempt to bend the rules could spark violence.
He also urged the political parties to see the EC as a key partner in the democratic process by constantly seeking clarification on issues that they did not understand rather than attacking the integrity of the electoral body.
"We need to, as a people, know that the EC is the mandated body for the conduct of our elections. We need to support the EC to discharge its mandate in a peaceful manner rather than creating conditions that will spark violence and put the electoral body into disrepute," he added.
For his part, the Chairman of Christian Praise International Centre (CPIC), Apostle Dr Jackson Owusu, called on the media and the security agencies to put the interest of the country first in the discharge of their duties.
Dr Owusu urged media practitioners and media owners to be circumspect in the content they generate.
According to him, the use of abusive language and personality attacks could spark violence and must therefore be avoided.