The Ghana Peace Campaign 2012 called on President John Atta Mills and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, presidential candidates of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) respectively in the December 7 elections, to do more to protect the peace of the country.
The group, which is campaigning for the peace of Ghana to be kept intact before, during and after the elections, said both President Mills and Nana Akufo-Addo had not done enough to rein in their supporters from escalating electoral tensions in the country.
Communications Director of the Ghana Peace Campaign 2012, Kojo Frempong, said: 'The President and the main opposition leader have not shown enough determination to stem the tide of provocative speech and hate language from their quarters. You hear their communication teams making wild allegations about each other which often prompt insults and reactions. The end result is tensions rise and people get worked up ready to break the law.'
But all that can change if President Mills and Nana Addo halt their people and make a public show of them.
'We know that it is nearly impossible to publicly disown their people when they step out of line. But they should whip them into line before they even get onto the campaign or media platforms. Nana Addo and President Mills are the two gentlemen whose words carry the most weight in Ghanaian politics today. If the two order their people to stop the insults, it would be difficult to disobey. It is our belief that such a definite order has not been issued by either President Mills or Nana Addo otherwise we would not have this state of bad blood on the airwaves', said Kojo Frempong.
The Ghana Peace Campaign 2012 also warned political strategists who thrived on creating conflict to beware of the effect of their approach 'since it breeds unnecessary tension and threatens the peace infrastructure of the country. When creating strategies, they should factor in the peace of this country and think peace before power at all times. If they don't jealously guard the peace, they will regret their over enthusiastic actions in the future,' Mr. Frempong said.
While tackling the two political leaders, the Ghana Peace Campaign 2012 cautioned the youth of Ghana not to engage blindly in acts of hooliganism and rowdy political behaviour in aid of politicians.
'Politicians need the youth to be able to succeed at anything. But what does the youth need from politicians? Is it just small amounts of cash to call radio stations and make wild allegations, or a few cedis to go and cause rumpus in the camp of political opponents,' asked Nana Yaw Osei Darkwa, the Campaign Coordinator of the Ghana Peace Campaign 2012.
'The time has come for the youth to improve their premium on their lives by educating themselves, engaging in legal businesses and just trying to get their lives together. By all means, the youth should be political but not politically irresponsible,' he added.