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23.07.2005 General News

Stop the blame game - NCCE urges politicians and journalists


Accra, July 23, GNA- The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Saturday urged politicians and media practitioners to stop the blame game and focus on national development and integration. "Politicians and some of their cronies in the media front have adopted the blame game as a divisive propaganda tool aimed at diverting attention from one's weaknesses, creating confusion in the minds of the public and hyping social, political, tribal and religious tension in the country," Mr. Larry Bimi, NCCE Chairman told the Ghana News Agency in an interview. He explained that the blame game philosophy operates and thrives through the creation of an imaginarily situation, especially about an opponent to defame his or her reputation, institution or party and ideology, attacking the opponents even for their own operational lapses, "simply you blame everybody but yourself, and interest."

Mr. Bimi said the ramification of the blame game were antagonism, intolerance, suspicion, class segmentation to defend interest, corruption, scheming of distractive and undermining tendencies, and eroding of confidence in multi-party democracy.

Whiles agreeing that the past should serve as guide to the future, the NCCE Chairman noted that constant referral to the bad deeds of opponents is a recipe for confrontation, "we must move forward as one unit."

"We cannot forget our history but we should minimize the frequent references to events that divide us, remind families of their pains and other challenges that as a nation we have gone through." He suggested the building of political, tribal, regional, religious and institutional bridges to reduce the acrimonious politicking and deliberations that have bedevil the nation, especially on the airwaves and newspapers.

The NCCE Chairman also urged politicians to demonstrate their commitment to peace-building and the accolade that Ghana is an inland of peace in a turbulent region by focusing on national interests instead of individual and group interests.

"We should see ourselves first, Ghanaians," he said, stressing that, "stronger parties, individual have to initiate the move towards peace-building and true reconciliation...weaker personality cannot force the stronger to accept peace, the Government of the day always has to take steps towards peace,"

In a related development, Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, Executive Director of Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEC), has called for the development of a new way of talking about governance issues that would lead to positive action at all levels to make democracy meaningful to the citizenry.

He said the populace needed to be empowered to see governance and decision-making as a shared responsibility rather than as the sole preserve of government institutions, stressing that the institute, in collaboration with DANIDA with support from UNDP, National Governance Programme and the African Capacity Building Foundation have developed the Governance Issues Forum to that effect.

Dr Akwetey explained that GIF offers the means for getting the citizenry to acquire the techniques of deliberation, collective decision- making and implementation of decisions at all levels without political acrimony.

He said the Governance Issues Forums seek to change the people's focus to institutionalise civic participation mechanism at all levels of governance.

"For the nation's democracy to gain roots and be truly meaningful, citizens participation in good governance should not be limited to election participation alone," he said.

Dr Akwetey said people's participation in local governance through effective participation in district assemblies would deepen the democratic culture.