UN, ECOWAS caution Ghanaians against violence-inciting speech

The United Nations (UN) and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), are cautioning politicians in Ghana to be cautious of their utterances on campaign platforms ahead of its 2020 elections.

Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Representative of the Secretary-General of the UN for West Africa and the Sahel, said such misconducts could undermine the nation’s democracy and jeopardise its peace and stability.

He gave the advice in Accra, when the flagbearers of the two major political parties, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (New Patriotic Party) and former President John Dramani Mahama (National Democratic Congress) signed a peace pact ahead of the December 7 polls.

The Third High Level Meeting of the Presidential Elections Peace Pact, was on the theme: “Eradicating Electoral Violence in Ghana’s Democracy: The Role of Political Leadership”.

It provided an avenue for the flagbearers to pledge their stance for peace and promote it through their utterances and actions before, during and after the elections.

The official signing of the Peace Pact 2020, organised under the auspices of the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, was facilitated by the Chief Justice Kwasi Anin-Yeboah.

The process was witnessed by the Chief Imam, Reverend Dr. Ernest Adu-Gyamfi, Chairman of the National Peace Council, Ogyeahohuo Yaw Gyebi II, President of the National House of Chiefs and Dr. Emmanuel O. Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance.

Dr. Chambas, also the Head of United Nations Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), said if Ghana experienced electoral violence, it would have implications on the sub-region and its security.

Ghana for many years, he said, had been a source of reference to many countries and an inspiration that they looked up to, adding that, it was therefore, important that they maintained and protected the hard-earned name of being a respecter of multiparty democracy.

He pledged the preparedness of the United Nations to support Ghana to conduct a peaceful and successful election.

Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the Leader of the ECOWAS Election Observer Mission to Ghana, said for many years, when Liberians needed a place to pull back their lives together after battling the effects of war, they knocked on the door of Ghana and received an aid.

“For many years, when we fled to Accra after two decades of war to seek help, Ghanaians decided to help us and we never cease to thank you for that,” she said.

“Ghana stands as a mark that we all look to for example. Please keep that light burning and that star of shining.”

Madam Sirleaf also gave an assurance that ECOWAS was willing to give up a strong commitment to ensure Ghana successfully went to the polls.

“As the lead of the ECOWAS Observer Mission, I will ensure that we carry out our mandate with integrity and fairness to ensure that the report we give reflects the choice of Ghanaians,” she added.

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