Accra, Oct. 11, GNA - A Lecturer and Research Fellow at the University of Ghana, Legon, has urged Ghanaians to rise above ethnicity and parochial interests and vote for political parties that are capable of pursuing policies that would enhance the socio-economic and political development of the country, in the Election 2004.
Dr Boni Yao D. Gebe of the Legon Centre for International Affairs (LECIA), in an interview with the GNA in Accra at the weekend, noted that since independence, politicians had given assurances to Ghanaians to ensure equitable distribution of wealth and national development, but many parts of the country still remained impoverished and underdeveloped.
He challenged political parties contesting the election to demonstrate that they would be able to formulate pragmatic policies and undertake vigorous development projects to improve the living conditions of Ghanaians, when voted into power instead of making vain promises. Dr Gebe said: "It would just be prudent for individuals or groups of persons to vote for political parties that have practically shown that they would be able to provide the people with amenities and infrastructure such as water, roads, hospitals and schools to get them out of illiteracy, ignorance, diseases and poverty when voted into power."
He advised the electorate not to vote for individuals or parties because they belonged to a particular religion, traditional area, ethnic group, region or part of the country since that would be unhealthy for the country's infant democracy.
Dr Gebe said democracy to a larger degree connoted entrusting power into the hands of responsible people who could ensure good governance and development.
He urged Ghanaians to appraise the track record of individuals and groups seeking their mandate to enable them to choose dynamic and competent leaders to spearhead national development efforts.
Dr Gebe said: "Beautifully worded and elaborate manifestoes indicating the objectives of a political party and how to achieve these aims is only a means to realising national aspirations but not an end to solving the socio-economic and political problems of the country."
He warned politicians against animosity, acrimony and divisiveness that could tear the country apart, saying, "political parties will come and go but Ghana will remain Ghana."
Dr Gebe called on political parties to educate the people on topical national issues, their rights and civic responsibilities instead of appealing to their sentiments in their bid to win or retain power. He reminded political parties that though their fundamental aim was to attain power, they were obliged to ensure peace, unity and stability and to mobilise the people for development.