It is unnecessary for party fanatics to put their lives at risk during electioneering, the Chief of Staff, Mr Julius Debrah, has said.
Mr Debrah was speaking at a seminar organised by the Centre for Legal Advocacy Research Education and Training (CLARiT) on the theme, “Women Against Violence in Elections (WAVE)”.
The seminar, which was the sixth in series, formed part of CLARiT’s empowered women programme aimed at strengthening the capacity of women.
The WAVE was first organised in 2012 prior to the elections to educate women on their role in promoting violence–free elections.
Raising false alarms
While some party fanatics raised false alarms by fabricating stories which created unnecessary tensions between parties, Mr Debrah asserted that others also allowed themselves to be used out of ignorance.
“Some people are allowing themselves to be used for political fanaticism and at the end of the election, they do not even get to meet their candidates who win. The closest they can get if they are not qualified is a wave or some GH¢100 if their paths cross again”, he observed.
He said political parties must understand that an attempt to steal the verdict of the election is an attempt to deny the people of the true representation that they want.
He, therefore, suggested that opinion leaders and chiefs within the society hold meetings with the various candidates in their communities to pledge and commit to violence–free elections.
While commending CLARiT for organising the programme, Mr Debrah called on civil society organisations to educate the public on the implications of instigating violence and the consequences on the country.
Judges on violence
A Supreme Court Judge, Justice Jones Dotse, who chaired the programme, said while the men seemed to usually start the violence, women and children suffered the consequences when it erupted.
Therefore, he urged women to advise their husbands and brothers to stay away from violence, adding that politicians also needed to be circumspect in their utterances.
An Appeal Court Judge, Justice Mrs Gertrude Torkornoo, said Ghanaians needed to stop the claims that politics was a dirty game reserved for people who wanted to extract from the country instead of serving.
“Those who offered themselves for political office made lots of sacrifices in terms of energy, time and resources. They could hardly make any claim to privacy and often sacrifice their personal lives in order to serve”, she observed.