Ghana cannot have peaceful elections when citizens’ actions and inactions go contrary, Mr George Kwame Amoah, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the Electoral Commission (EC), has said.
Mr Amoah, who described the recent violence at Odododiodio in Accra as horrible, urged all to respect the choice of others in elections.
“This will help us prevent attacks, insults, and intimidation among others, which are creeping into the country’s politics,” he said.
Mr Amoah was speaking at the launch of Agents of Peace Campaign, embarked on by the Church of Pentecost Kaneshie Area, on the theme: “Seek Peace and Pursue It.”
The campaign is expected to be replicated in 87 local assemblies within the Church’s 22 districts.
The members also took the opportunity to pray for the upcoming elections, political parties and security agencies among others.
The launch was characterised by patriotic songs, poetry recitals, and a documentary on some incidences of electoral violence and their effects.
Mr Amoah said as Ghana had chosen the path of democracy, it was proper to allow political parties to have the freedom to campaign and people should have the opportunity to freely choose candidates or parties they were comfortable with.
He said countries that lost their peace through elections had to pay dearly for it and it had taken them many years to regain their peace, noting that Ghana could not afford to lose the peace her citizens were enjoying.
“Peace is invaluable, don’t take it for granted, countries who lost peace took many years to get it back.
We need to pursue peace even after elections.”
Mr Amoah commended the Church for the campaign and appealed to the conscience of the people on the need to sustain the peace.
Mrs Elizabeth Sackey, the Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister, urged all to “walk the talk of peace” and desist from paying lip service to it.
Mrs Lucille Hewlett Annan, the Greater Accra Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education, noted that it would be difficult for people to enjoy their rights if there was no peace.
She appealed to citizens to resort to arbitration, litigation, mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution mechanisms instead of war to address their grievances.
Apostle Mike Etrue, the Kaneshie Area Head of the Church of Pentecost, appealed to the youth to avoid being used as instruments of violence.
“The youth should not build their muscles in violence but must build faith muscle for peace,” he said, and that peace created the best atmosphere for evangelism.
He appealed to political leaders to seek peace because that remained paramount in Ghana’s democracy and development.
Apostle Etrue, also an Executive Council Member of the Church of Pentecost, recalled that the Church, in 2016, embarked on a similar peace drive and it was continuing this year to ensure that the peace message was preached to all within the Church’s operational communities.