President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has advised Ghanaians to stand against acts of violence, intimidation and bloodshed used by politicians as their strategy to garner votes during general elections.
Speaking at a durbar at Sankore to begin his two-day visit to the Ahafo Region yesterday, the President chastised residents of the town for making a bad name for themselves through electoral violence which had resulted in deaths and maiming of a number of people over the years.
"Let us give the people the chance to vote from their own free will instead of using intimidation and bloodshed to compel them to vote for us.
"Those perpetrating such acts do not have any agenda for the improvement of the lives of the people and should not continue to waste the precious time of the people," he said.
Against the backdrop of violence perpetrated by both supporters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the years, President Akufo-Addo warned that a bill to deal with political vigilantism would curb such issues when passed into law.
He stated that nobody, whether a Member of Parliament or a Minister of State, would be spared if he or she was caught instigating the people to perpetrate violence as a result of elections.
The President wondered why people in the district voted peacefully during the recent referendum for the creation of the Ahafo Region but would resort to violence during general elections.
He gave an assurance that the necessary measures would be put in place to ensure that the 2020 presidential and parliamentary elections were conducted in the area devoid of violence and intimidations.
Responding to a request by the Omanhene of the Sankore Traditional Area, Ogyedom Appiah Kubi, for the rehabilitation of the Kukuom-Sankore-Abuom road, President Akufo-Addo castigated previous governments for saying that the road had been rehabilitated.
He gave an assurance that the road would be rehabilitated during his tenure.
President Akufo-Addo explained that the $2 billion Government of Ghana (GOG)-Sinohydro Master Project Support Agreement (MPSA) was being used to embark on massive infrastructure projects and called on the people to support the government to implement those projects.
On the request for the construction of a dining hall for the Sankore Senior High School (SHS) and a dormitory block for the Sankore Nursing Training College, President Akufo-Addo said a loan had been sought to provide the much-needed infrastructure for SHSs across the country.
At Kukuom, President Akufo-Addo continued his campaign against political violence and commended the Asunafo South District Assembly for working hard to curb the violence in the area.
During a courtesy call on the Omanhene of the Kukuom Traditional Area, Osahene Kwaku Aterkyi II, the President gave an assurance that the Kukuom Agriculture SHS would have its fair share of infrastructure from the Ghana Education Trust Fund to enable it to rub shoulders with its counterparts.
At Mim, the Omanhene of the area, Okofrobuor Professor Yaw Adjei II, appealed to the President to elevate the area to a municipal status after Goaso had been made a regional capital.
He thanked the President for the ongoing rehabilitation of the Mim town roads and called for the reopening of the Mim and Ayum timber companies to provide employment for the teeming youth in the area.
In his response, President Akufo-Addo announced that the plywood section of the Ayum Timber Company would be opened in the second quarter of the year.
He also paid a courtesy call on the Omanhene of the Goaso Traditional Area, Nana Kwasi Bosompra, and held a Town Hall meeting in Goaso during which he answered questions from members of the public on the implementation of the government's policies and programmes.
Enthusiastic crowds met the President wherever he went in the region, with some of them carrying placards with inscriptions such as "Thank You, Mr President ", " You promised, You have delivered ", "Mr President Ahafoman da w'ase".
The President later cut the sod for the construction of offices for the Ahafo Regional Coordinating Council and presented eight 4x4 vehicles to the council for the management of the new region.