The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana (CCG), Rev Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, has identified election rigging efforts, violence, and tribalistic comments as challenges to the peace of the country ahead of the polls on 7 December.
Speaking on the Executive Breakfast Show (EBS) on Class91.3FM on Tuesday 22 November, he urged the two major political parties – the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) – to avoid sowing seeds of disunity by making ethnocentric comments ahead of the polls.
His comment comes on the back of recent tribal comments made by some key political figures including President John Dramani Mahama on campaign platforms ahead of the election.
“Cheating runs through all of them – that is, registering minors, efforts to rig, double voting, and all that. You [also] find violence where people are arming innocent young people to go out and attack other people. A simple thing like [health] walk is turning into bloodshed, some people are destroying posters and using abusive language…then the tribal card. I must say that in all these areas that I have just enumerated, the two leading political parties are all behaving the same way,” Rev Opuni-Frimpong told show host Prince Minkah.
“At the moment, with the tribal card, you hear that in the Volta Region, for example, somebody says, ‘this party doesn’t like you’; in the North you hear: ‘vote for us, we love you more than the others’. But people want to hear how quality education will be achieved, good health, our roads. Ghanaians want employment, we want to hear our foreign policies… These are the things we want to hear. We have some few days to election and you hear party heavyweights, all of them, dividing the country on tribal lines.”
Rev Opuni-Frimpong advised political leaders that dividing the nation to win elections will make governance difficult for them. He said: “We must understand when you divide us on tribal lines and you win power, you will need the commitment, the dedication. And if you divide us today, you make governance difficult tomorrow and so we want to plead with our political leaders that they must be very careful on how they play tribal cards and religious cards. It doesn’t help anybody, it won’t help them.”