The National Democratic Congress (NDC) in the Brong-Ahafo Region Saturday snubbed the Regional House of Chiefs regarding a peace talk the House organized for political parties to show plans towards peace campaigning in the run-up to the December 7 elections.
Among the four political parties to appear on the ballot paper as certified by the Electoral Commission (EC), only the NDC failed to attend the meeting. In attendance were the New Patriotic Party (NPP), the Convention People’s Party (CPP) and the People’s National Convention (PNC) – though the latter party will not appear on the ballot paper due to the disqualification of its presidential aspirant, Dr Edward Mahama, by the EC. The NDC reportedly did not give any reason for its absence.
The need for peace discussions among the political parties in the region stems from recorded hostilities between the NDC and the NPP in recent times. The initiative by the chiefs was at the instance of Konrad-Adeneauer Stiftung (KAS), a Germany political organization which together with the house, wants Ghana to go through another peaceful electoral exercise.
Addressing the august house, the Brong-Ahafo Regional Secretary of the NPP, Afraid Anye, registered the party’s displeasure over the silence by Nananom when supporters of the NDC attacked and maimed some members of the NPP at the Asunafo and the Asutifi Constituencies of the region. He urged the chiefs to be proactive and call to order parties that visits violence on its opponents.
On what the NPP is doing to make sure there are peaceful elections, the regional secretary said their communicators had been tasked to do issue-base campaign and not to insult their opponents. More so, party activists are not to react with insult to vituperations by their opponents so peace could continue to reign. They are not to use abusive language on air or on any member of the Electoral Commission when discussing political issues.
The CPP said because of the personality of their flag bearer they could never engage in violence. The party’s parliamentary candidate for Berekum East, Ali Dayindey, indicated that CPP communicators had been urged to preach peace because their leader is a peace-loving person. He also pleaded with the chiefs to stop declaring support for flag bearers whenever they (flag bearers) visit their palaces.
The chair of the occasion and vice president of B/A House of Chiefs, Nana Bofobene, said democracy is not about insults, adding that all parties are fighting for development for the people and therefore urged them to eschew violence. He suggested that one month to the election, government or appropriate the agencies should come out with a directive to stop serial callers on radio because in his view, such callers create a recipe for chaos.
The police also spoke on plans to ensure peaceful polls.
Dr Isaac Owusu-Mensah, Programme Manager of Konrad-Adeneauer Stiftung, was disappointed in the NDC for not attending the peace initiative.