CDD-GHANA Hold Interaction Program on Peace in Northern Region
Following the ostensible nature the outcome of this year’s parliamentary and presidential elections is predisposed to be, several institutions including NGOs, CBOs, religious bodies and organizations have adopted several methods to ensure that the country observes a peaceful and violent free elections.
Against this background, the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana) as part of its social responsibility to mother Ghana and to build the assurance that Ghanaians go to the polls on the coming December 7th peacefully, has embarked on interactions with community leaders comprising Imams, clergymen, chiefs, political parties, the Electoral Commission, NCCE and other stakeholders of peace. Among the communities visited were the Tamale, Sang, Kumbungu, Tolon, Walewale, Bungrugu, Savelugu, Bupie, Damongo, Karaga, and Gushegu.
A Program Officer of CDD-Ghana, Mr. P.N.K. Aborampah Mensah, mentioned that the rationale behind the exercise is to find out if Ghanaians can better the past election records of the country and to see if Ghana can come out of these elections successful without blemish. He said their interactive visits to the communities, among others, was to serve as a reminder to the people of the various communities to put in their best and all that they can to make sure that this year’s election is peaceful. He also said the purpose of the forum was to bring together all stakeholders to deliberate on how they can contribute to peaceful development. He said election violence should be discouraged citing what happened in Zimbabwe after their polls. “Instead of the parties concentrating on how to develop their country, they are always in South Africa trying to broker peace and this tells us how peace is important in the socio-economic development of every nation,” he said.
At Sang, the interaction forum allowed many people to share their views on some of the causes of election violence and the way forward. The chief of the area, Naa Musah Abukari, commended CDD for the program and said it will remind the people, especially political parties and their representatives about their responsibilities.
The returning officer of the Yendi Municipality, Mr. Shahadu Sumani, took the people through the electoral process, from registration to voting and asked political party supporters not to engage in multiple voting and told the people not to display any party colors at the polling stations.
The Chief Imam of Sang, Imam Abukari Fuseini, said the elections started from the days of Jesus Christ and Prophet Mohammed, adding that “at those times they had leaders and how they were chosen is not that different from ours.” He urged all to leave the polling stations after casting their votes on the Election Day, saying “If this is done, there will not be any conflict after the elections.” Questions were taken from representatives of the political parties and communities.
This was done in all the other constituencies in the Northern Region. At Kumbungu, the CDD, media, NCCE, the EC and the religious leaders paid a courtesy call on the chief of the area, Kumbungu Naa -Iddrisu Abu, who entreated CDD to continue the good work. He pledged his support to the success of the program and mentioned that he and his people would make sure that this year’s elections in their area is peaceful and successful. He said Ghana needs peace to catch up with other countries but it is only if the youth are ready to put up measures to observe peace during and after elections. He noted that no chief or leaders in the country would like the country to be in flames. Naa Abu Iddrisu called on political parties to talk to their youth and tell them not to do anything that would distract the current peace we are enjoying in the country.
The Ghanaian Observer, November 24th - 26th 2008, Vol 3 No. 0136