Ghana is not immune to ethnic conflicts as records will show, the Progressive People’s Party has stated.
The PPP has therefore expressed its full support of any steps taken by the government to ensure that the general resolution of Ghanaians to maintain the unity and peace prevails and is sustained.
In a statement signed by the party’s National Secretary, Mr Kofi Asamoah-Siaw, it however noted with concern that those practical steps were absent in President John Dramani Mahama’s nationwide broadcast.
Last Wednesday night, the President delivered his first nationwide broadcast after ascending to the high office of the land following the death of President John Evans Atta-Mills.
In his address, the President alluded to the fact that 'when it comes to the practice of peace and unity, we Ghanaians have always been exemplary.'
According to the PPP, in other jurisdictions, a presidential address attracts an equal opportunity for other political parties and key stakeholders to share their views on the issues raised and prescribe solutions to the problems at stake.
It pointed out that in a country where the state owned media provides extensive coverage to government’s programmes and activities and give unfair advantage to the party in power against other political parties, this presents a barrier to unity.
The anomaly needs to be corrected to sustain the unity currently prevailing, the PPP statement said.
Also key in promoting unity, according to the PPP is to address the issue of abuse of incumbency.
“We can find that there are huge billboards of His Excellency John Mahama and former President Prof. Atta-Mills ostensibly put up to promote and give advantage to the candidacy of the former in the 2012 elections. Who is paying for these billboards? Is it at the expense of the tax payer? Will these ensure unity in Ghana when one party gets undue advantage for being in government?”
The party also wished that the president addressed the issue of lack of transparency and broader consultation in decision making and cited a case in point 'is the NDC's government white paper on the report of the Constitutional Review Commission. The NDC seeks to concentrate more power in the hands of the president in the selection or election of DCE's against the collective wishes of Ghanaians - to have their DCE's elected directly without any executive interference. Putting big powers in the hands of the President will not promote unity in any practical sense.”
One other way of maintaining the unity in Ghana is to ensure inclusiveness. There is too much discrimination due to unnecessary partisanship in the award of state contracts, appointments into key public service positions and the distribution of national resources.
These are the things that militate against the peace and unity in Ghana and the president should make a personal commitment to reverse this trend in order to sustain the peace and unity in our beloved country.
It is our hope that the president would carefully consider the issues raised when he presents to the nation an agenda on some policy measures we need to take to consolidate the peace and unity, the PPP statement added.