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17.10.2008 General News

“Ghana would be at peace if we see ourselves as Ghanaians first” - Registrar

By gna

Mr Soale S. Mahama, Registrar of the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs has said that, Ghana would enjoy sustainable peace during and after the December 7 elections, if the people see themselves as Ghanaians first and not as different tribes in one country.

He reminded Ghanaians that “Ghana was the only place God has allocated to them and that it was also in Ghana that they could call themselves citizens, but elsewhere they were strangers.”

He therefore called on Ghanaians to vote out political parties, whose leaders were playing politics on ethnic lines, saying: “Such people are the enemies of the people and we must not give them our mandate”.

Mr Mahama was speaking at a one-day workshop towards achieving peaceful, free and fair elections this year.

The Upper West Regional House of Chiefs in collaboration with Sustainable Peace Initiative, an NGO organized the forum for political party youth activists in the Wa Central Constituency on Wednesday.

Mr Mahama reminded Ghanaians about Zimbabwe, Kenya and other countries in Africa, whose citizens were living in a state of fear and discomfort as a result of election disorders.

He urged political party activists and sympathizers to exercise a lot of restraint and give peace a chance in the wake of any such disorders before, during and after the 2008 elections.

The Registrar advised the political party activists to educate their party fanatics and admirers on how to comport themselves and respect their colleagues of other political parties, to a build a congenial atmosphere for the elections.

Mr Mahama urged political party leaders and their supporters not take the law into their own hands and act violently at polling stations, where they serve as polling agents of their parties.

He entreated them to report acts that they found or feel were inimical to their parties to the Presiding Officer of the Polling Station for redress rather than acting violently or causing confusion.

He advised supporters to leave the polling station soon after casting their votes and wait for the results at home to avoid confusion.

They should also accept the election results in good faith and shun any act of violence that might be initiated by any party leader, Mr Maham said.

On jubilation, Mr Mahama told the youth that winners could jubilate, but it should be limited to their area and should not be extended to the losers' territory in a form of deriding them.

Mr Mahama called on the media to be objective in their reportage, while traditional rulers should also advise their subjects, especially the youth not to engage in any act that would impact negatively on the election.

"Ghana has an enviable democratic reputation, not only in Africa but in the world and Ghanaians must together jealously maintain and defend it “, he said.

Naa Gore Danaa, Paramount chief of the Dorimon Traditional Area, who chaired the forum, told the youth that they would ruin their future and those of their children should they plunge the country into war because of politics.

He urged them to take lessons from the pioneers of Ghana politics, who he said did not plunge the country into war before gaining independence for the country.