Dr Edward Kofi Omane Buamah, Minister of Communications, has underscored the need for strategic communications in the country’s political campaigns to promote peace and stability.
He said political campaigns must be solely for the purpose of winning political power and serving the sovereign people of Ghana and politicians have no reason to resort to violence or vulgar languages in their campaign messages.
The Minister noted that campaign messages should be tailored to focus on selling the personality or the suitability of the person from a political party through programmes, plans and ideas for the development of the country.
Dr Omane Buamah, speaking at the 23rd Annual General Meeting of the Institute of Public Relations (IPR), said well-structured campaign messages would afford the electorates convenient and appropriate opportunities to make choices based on the assessment of issues, principles needed for socio-economic advancement.
The AGM under the theme, “Public Relations and Peaceful Elections: Your Role, My Role” was to take stock of their activities for the past year and re-strategize for the year to come.
The Minister said Ghana has been targeted as a peaceful country because of the structures “we established over the years and the events and process we have established to prevent violence in our elections.
“The recent grand debate on our recent biometric voters’ register among stakeholders was one set master scroll that reveals the merits and demerits for the call for a new register. Consequently, the Electoral Commission and all others participated in the process,” he said.
Dr Omane Buamah said together as a nation we must reject the dangerous tendency which make some Ghanaians to look at the political divide.
“Accordingly, I urge the electorate to be more focused on the ideas of candidates to evaluate elected officers and hold them accountable on their promises, ideas, values and programmes and use the same values to assess prospective candidates,” he added.
The Minister commended the IPR for adhering to their corporate planning principles and standards by branding nothing into something and urged them to make their professionalism available for politicians to draft strategic campaign communication to promote peace.
Dr Omane Buamah later handed over a Toyota bus to the Executives of IPR, in fulfilment of a promise made by President John Dramani Mahama at last year’s AGM.
Ms Elaine Sam, President of IPR, stressed the need to harmonize our differences as a means to strengthen and build the nation through effective communication.
She said “as PR practitioners we cannot bury our heads in the sand and pretend to be unaware of some of the unhealthy discourse, which threatens our unity as a nation”.
She said PR practitioners are well suited to offer direction and advice towards maintaining a positive image for the country and called on members to play their roles with the best professional practice.
Four second level and 11 first level members, who successfully completed their examination were sworn-in.