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Don't polarise Ghana along NDC, NPP lines

30 April 2009 | General News

Two prominent Ghanaians have expressed grave concern over the increasing rate at which the country is being polarised between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

The two, the Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC), Dr Kwadwo Afari-Qyan, and Prof. Miranda Greenstreet, the Chairperson of the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), said the development had the propensity to destroy the fabric of the society and open it to attendant repercussions.

Consequently, they called on civil society organizations, faith-based organisations and concerned Ghanaians to brainstorm and evolve strategies to ensure that the canker was halted and also make the perpetrators of such polarisation to realise that they were Ghanaians first before any affiliation to any political party.

The two prominent personalities made the observation at an interaction between the EC and CODEO in Accra yesterday to review the 2008 elections, with the view to ensuring that the lapses encountered during the elections would be minimised in future ones.

Dr Afari-Gyan said currently some Ghanaians behaved as if there were only two types of people in the country, those who belonged to the NDC and those who belonged to the NPP, "making those of us without political parties, as well as those in the other political parties appear as if we are of no essence to the nation."

He wondered whether that was so because of the winner-takes-all syndrome of the political system, coupled with the fact that the government in power was the largest employer who also controlled state resources and power.

He said it was very disturbing that people did not care about the quality of persons appointed to or nominated for certain positions but all they wanted was that such persons must of necessity be members of their party, irrespective of their capacity to deliver.

Prof. Greenstreet described the situation as very dangerous, noting that it demanded the urgent attention of all well- meaning Ghanaians because if it was allowed to continue it would not augur well for the future of the country.

She said another disturbing aspect of the development was that even when a President had made appointments based on merit, with the view that those appointed would best solve the problems at hand, people claiming to be party activists stood up against those appointments because they claimed that the appointed or nominated persons were not fully-fledged party members.

She also expressed worry that while political party activists were dividing the country along NDC/NPP lines, the media had also provided a fertile ground for such unpatriotic citizens to execute their ill-conceived agenda.

Prof. Greenstreet said it was high time Ghanaians realised that there was only one country whose unity was more paramount than the interest of any political party or individual.

The General Secretary of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr Bright Blewu, said it was high time Ghanaians took a serious view of utterances by both politicians and media practitioners that bordered on ethnocentrism and political divisiveness.

He said it was just by sheer luck that the country did not experience the upheavals that had characterised war-torn countries after elections.

He appealed to all civil society organisations to impress upon the government and Parliament to pass the Broadcasting Law, which he said would minimise some of the irresponsible and unprofessional behaviour of some radio stations.

Spurce: Daily Graphic

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