Ken Sackey, GNA
Accra, Jan. 15, GNA - The Christian Council of Ghana (CCG) has appealed to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to ensure that election 2020 was free, fair, and devoid of political violence.
They asked that he used his good office to make sure that the security agencies remain fair and firm to all manner of people, irrespective of their political leanings, during and after the election period.
They made the appeal when they called on the President at the Jubilee House, Accra on Tuesday to discuss wide-ranging issues, particularly the December 2020 general elections, peace, sustainable development of the country and security related issues.
Most Rev Dr. Kwabena Boafo, the CCG’s Chairman who led the delegation, pointed out that 2020 being an election year would come with apprehensions in the lives of some Ghanaians on the outcome of the electioneering process.
But, it was possible to have free and fair elections when the major stakeholders acted right and when the appropriate machinery is put in place.
The Council Chairman said it was utmost that in the interest of peace and stability in the country, the President used his office “to ensure that the security agencies act fairly and justly with all manner of persons who breach the law, notwithstanding their political affiliations”.
He also appealed to party communicators shun he politics of insult, guard against the use of defamatory words and ethnocentric statements during elections campaigns “to help the country sustain the peace that we have enjoyed as a nation”.
Most Rev Dr. Kwabena Boafo praised President Akufo-Addo for the policies and programmes of his government, which he said were impacting positively on the lives of Ghanaians.
He said policies like “Planting for Food and Jobs”, “One District, One Factory” and the free Senor High School education programme “are welcoming news to all of us”.
“The fight against illegal mining which you initiated is a good legacy that posterity will forever remember.
“We want to congratulate you on developmental projects and social intervention policies the Lord have used you to initiate and accomplished so far in our country… We pray for strength and wisdom for you to continue to lead our country,” he said.
The Council used the opportunity to inform and invite the President to the official opening of the Africa Youth Conference that would be hosted by the Council in the last quarter of 2020.
The conference will be organized by the all Africa Conference of Churches, the mother ecumenical body on the continent.
The Council also sought the blessing and support of President Akufo-Addo for the celebration of its 90th anniversary in October 2020.
They enlightened the President on a sanitation project christened “live right, Live Clean” which the Council was undertaking to reduce plastic waste in the country in support of government’s efforts to create a clean environment for the Ghanaian people.
The Council raised issues with terrorist attacks on churches in the sub-region, and asked that the security agencies furnished them with necessary information that would help the church stem the tide of attacks.
They also lauded the Year of Return Charter, which they said had had a significant impact on Ghana’s economy and deepened its identity on the world map, calling for the prioritisation of the construction of roads leading to tourist destination to make them more accessible, in order for the country to gain revenue from those sites.
The Council also spoke well of the banking sector clean up, and called on Government to quicken the process of having the monies of depositors in the collapsed banks paid them.
President Akufo-Addo on his apart pledged to ensure peace and security before, during and after the December elections.
He gave the assurance that political violence would not be tolerated and that those who engaged in it, irrespective of their political leanings would be dealt with ruthlessly.
The President said there was need to punish persons or groups who perpetrated political violence, saying any behavior that caused apprehensions during election year had to be dealt with decisively by the security agencies.
He said election violence was a crime, assuring that crime would not be given political coloration during this year’s polls and those who fell afoul of the law will face its full rigours.
He also assured that he would do his best to ensure that the security agencies work without discrimination.
“If an NPP man causes a problem or assaults somebody in public, he should be dealt with as a citizen of Ghana, not as a member of the NPP. And it doesn’t matter the fact that the NPP has its President in office,” he said.
“I am hoping that this year where I would be in charge of the process (of ensuring peace during the election), I can give an example that will make it possible for us in future not to look upon these quadrennial bouts of apprehension and fear,” he said.
The President told the Council that his government was taking pragmatic measures to close the door on terrorism in the region.
He acknowledged the huge impact the “Year of Return” had made and the profit the programme had brought to Ghana, adding that the tourism minister and her team are working to enable the country reap the full benefit from the "beyond the return" charter.