27.05.2004 Regional News

Consolidate the peace in the country - Political parties told

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Obuasi, May 27, GNA - Political parties have been urged to ensure that all their campaigning activities are geared towards consolidating the peace in the country.

The Supervising Police Commissioner for Ashanti and Brong-Ahafo Regions, Mr J. Boakye-Appiah, who made the call, said; "political parties should not let their campaigns to divide the nation".

Speaking at a meeting with political parties' executives at Obuasi on Wednesday as part of his tour of Ashanti, Mr Boakye-Appiah said the whole nation was looking forward to peaceful elections and, therefore, appealed to the parties to avoid acts that would destroy the peace in the country.

He reminded the parties that certain utterances could spark off violence in the communities.

Mr Boakye-Appiah, who is also the Commissioner of Police in-charge of Welfare, urged the political parties to convince the electorate on their manifestoes and programmes instead of attacking opponents with insults, insinuations and unhealthy remarks.

Referring to a recent clash between the NPP and NDC in Obuasi during a keep-fit exercise by the two parties, the Supervising Police Commissioner said it would be inimical to the peace and security of the nation if keep-fit clubs were organised on political party lines.

"Keep-fit exercises organised on political party lines are dangerous", Mr Boakye-Appiah said and advised the parties to organise the programme in such a way that it would infuse love and brotherliness between the two parties.

"Don't send signals out to mean that Ghana is a lawless country", he stressed, adding: "The Police is in absolute control of the security of the state".

Mr Ofosu-Mensah Gyeabour, Ashanti Regional Police Commander, who accompanied the Commissioner, stressed the need for the political parties to avoid verbal and physical violence during the campaign period.

He also warned against the removal of opponents' posters and banners displayed for public attention.

Mr Gyeabour advised the parties to exercise restraint for the Electoral Commission (EC) to solve the petitions raised during the voters' registration exercise.

Mr Joseph K. Boampong, Adansi West District Chief Executive, said Obuasi was a strategic place as far as the country's economy was concerned and, therefore, it behoved political parties to maintain the peace in the area.

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