The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has urged political party activists to exercise their rights within the confines of the law.Madam Josephine Nkrumah, Deputy Chairperson of the NCCE, said the temptation for political party activists especially the youth to settle scores outside the law would eventually land the country in chaos.
Madam Nkrumah observed that correcting a wrong outside the law was as bad as the wrong committed. She gave the advice on Tuesday during a NCCE engagement with youth activists of political parties in the Ningo-Prampram District.
The engagement which was on the theme: “Empowering the youth to stand up for Ghana for a peaceful election 2016”, was sponsored by the European Union. She implored the youth to be circumspect in their actions and think through the effects of their actions and utterances on the general peace of the nation.
“It is better for us to sit down as one people to dialogue and find solutions to problems instead of resorting to violence ways”, she added. Madam Nkrumah reminded the activists that there was a thin line between activism and creating violence therefore urged them to always remember that all political party members were Ghanaians first before joining the parties.
Miss Fifty Agyeiwaa Badu, Ningo-Prampram District NCCE Director, in a welcome address, said the meeting was to equip political party youth activists in the district with basic knowledge and skills on non-violence to enable them participate effectively and ethically in the electoral process.
Miss Badu said the youth play important roles in the country’s politics including serving as foot soldiers, party polling agents, among others. She noted that these roles they played either promote peace or sometimes lead to electoral violence due to ignorance of the various regulations governing the conduct of elections.
Mrs Lucille Hewlett Annan, Greater Accra Regional NCCE Director, asked political parties to abide by the political parties code of conduct and educate their followers on it.
Mrs Annan also urged the youth to desist from posting party posters on people’s properties without their permission to avoid the misfortune of those posters been ripped apart or defaced. She also implored them not to unnecessarily tag NCCE officials with political parties as they work with all political parties.
Superintendent Alex Kumangtani, Prampram District Police Commander, informed the activists that the police would not entertain any violent activities from political parties.
Sup. Kumangtani stressed that they would not allow political parties to unnecessarily put the district in the media landscape for the wrong reasons.
He reminded them to write to the police in accordance with the public order act as well as follow the agreed arrangement between his outfit and the parties before organizing any public political event.
Mr Charles Botchey Junior, Ningo-Prampram District Electoral Officer, asked political parties to use the laid down processes to address their grievances during the elections.
Mr Botchey appealed to the parties to properly educate their agents on the “dos and don’ts” for the elections to ensure a free, fair and violence- free elections.
The EC officer also said voters who have their names in the voter’s register but could not be verified by the biometric verification machine would be allowed to vote.
Alhaji Sa-Rahack Nartey, Ningo-Prampram District Chief Executive, reiterated the need for political activists to coexist with others irrespective of their political party affiliation.
Participants watched a post election violence documentary on Kenya and identified factors that contributed to the violence and its effect on the people.
They agreed to eschew violence in all forms and appealed to state institutions involved in the election process for fairness and called on the media to be circumspect and report accurately.