Use Polls To Prove Ghana Is Peaceful - Addai-Poku
6/25/2012 3:39:20 PM -
The President of the National Association of Graduate Teachers (NAGRAT), Mr Christian Addai-Poku, has called on Ghanaians to use this year’s elections to prove to the rest of the world that the country is the most peaceful destination for investments in Africa.
He said the electioneering should be conducted in a peaceful manner, adding that the 2012 general election should provide a great opportunity for Ghanaians to prove to the world that the country was indeed a beacon of hope for democracy in Africa.
In an interview, he said, NAGRAT would be liasing with other stakeholders to embark on a peace campaign during the electioneering.
Mr Addai-Poku said the association, being a member of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), had been instrumental in the quest for peace in the election process, and that teachers for instance had been polling agents, returning officers and presiding officers.
Aside that, he said, some teachers had been constituency executives of the various political parties.
He said teachers should, therefore, continue to be peace ambassadors wherever they found themselves as far as political activities, among other things, were concerned.
“We have a major role to play in ensuring a peaceful election, taking cognisance of the fact that a peaceful election is what every Ghanaian is yearning for,” he said.
Mr Addai-Poku noted that teachers were opinion leaders in their various communities and, therefore, had the responsibility of extending their work as teachers to cover education of the citizenry on the need for a peaceful election.
He stated that political players themselves should be responsible in what they did, and that their behaviours and utterances always promoted peace.
Political players, he said, should eschew any activity that might lead to chaos.
“Political players have a major role to play in ensuring that we get the best group of people to lead us,” he emphasised.
On the media, Mr Addai-Poku said, they were major stakeholders in achieving peace before, during and after the elections.
He said the media did not only set the agenda for discussions but provided the platform for the discussion and dissemination of political messages and other information on national development, thereby influencing public opinion.
“The media should bring professionalism to bear on political discussions. They should not allow the use of inflammatory messages that could disturb the peace the country is enjoying,” he said.
Mr Addai-Poku indicated that if the media could release quality information to the public then the country will achieve the peace and development Ghanaians craved for.
Callers into radio and television stations, he said, should precede whatever contributions they wanted to make on air with a message of peace, saying that they should end their contributions as well with a peace message.
“Once they are given the platform to share ideas they should always put Ghana first,” he said.
Mr Addai-Poku said the experiences of countries such as Cote d’ Ivoire, Sierra Leone and Rwanda should serve as a guide to all Ghanaians.