Resort to law courts for electoral disputes - Lecturer
A Political Scientist and the Head of the Department of Communication, Innovation and Technology, University for Development Studies (UDS), Nyankpala Campus, Dr Jasper Abembia Ayelazuno, has called on political parties to resort to the law courts to settle all electoral disputes to prevent post-election violence.
He cited the post-election violence that erupted in Cote d’Ivoire and Kenya after their presidential elections to buttress his point on the need for the various political parties contesting the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections to seek for redress in the courts than to take the law into their own hands.
“Despite Ghana’s acclaimed image as a country noted for its credible and peaceful elections, we have had our own fair share of pockets of electoral disputes but never jeopardised lives and properties, hence the need for us to use the courts address grievances instead of taking the law into ones hand”, he stressed.
Dr Ayelazuno made the call after a peace march and a float in Tamale organised by the Communication Students Association of Ghana (COMSAG), UDS, Nyankpala campus, in collaboration with the security services, various political parties, as well as the media fraternity.
It was to demonstrate to Ghanaians that it was possible and practicable to be partisan, yet united, tolerant and peaceful in spite of the election.
The event also served as a tool of communication adopted by the students of the Social Change Communication programme of the UDS, Nyankpala campus, to sensitise Ghanaians to the dangers of dogmatic and uncritical loyalty to a party or candidate.
Dr Ayelazuno stated that "you have the right to support your party and candidate the way you want but do not use violence, spew hatred and animosity; but be tolerant of opposing views, treat supporters of other parties with love, magnanimity and grace".
He reiterated that ‘’one’s life does not depend on a party or candidate but rather depends on your labour and what you do for a living’’.
“Your life depends on your limbs, blood and brain. Don’t hurt them because of this election. Don’t hurt your neighbour because of the election. If you are a farmer, teacher, fisher, trader, driver, soldier, police officer, fire officer, prison officer, security guard, journalist or any other labourer; there is one thing I can predict will happen to you after the election: you are still going to be labouring in all those jobs to take care of yourself and family”, he stressed.
‘’Party politics is important for democracy because parties and elections are the most civilised and orderly way to organise and govern ourselves’’.
Dr Ayelazuno urged the students not to allow themselves to be used as a tool for violence but rather a tool to propagate peace that would bring sanity into the country.