A Senior Lecturer in Journalism and Communications Studies at the African University College of Communications (AUCC), has expressed concern about utterances by some key personalities of the two leading political parties in the country, following reports of violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-elections in the Greater Accra Region
He was particularly disappointed in the hot verbal exchanges among these politicians, with some leading to fisticuffs in the studios of some radio stations.
Mr Samuel Ato Afful, who is also a Communications Specialist and Life Coach,made a passionate appeal to politicians to make it a point to eschew comments which could incite political violence in the run up to the 2020 polls.
In an interview on Atinka FM, Mr Afful stated that “it is in order and rightly so, for former President John Dramani Mahama to have condemned the reports of violence which characterized the by elections. However, his other statements claiming the National Democratic Congress (NDC), as a political party, has its roots in revolution, and hence, no group in the country comes near the party in terms of their ability to unleash violence on their opponents, obviously didn’t come out well, making it sound irresponsible. Such statements should not have come from a man of such stature. His utterances suggests an endorsement of violence. That, is unfortunate”.
The Communications Specialist told Atinka FM that, the government needed to take all the blame for any acts of violence (reported and/or confirmed) in relation to violence of any kind in the country, and that of the recent by election, is no exception.
“Governments, all over the world, have the ultimate responsibility to ensure that all eligible citizens are able to cast their ballots in any election, be it minor or major, without fear of intimidation. This is a civil right that any government which claims to respect rule of law and the democratic rights of its citizen, must ensure it is followed to the latter”.
In an interview with this Reporter, Mr Afful was however not surprised about the reported insults the two major political parties are trading in, cautioning that, a lot more of such acts will be seen and heard of as the electioneering campaigns heat up later this year and throughout next year.
He urged the National Peace Council to live up to its mandate and the expectations of the people, saying it appears the council has become a body which only reacts to reports of violence and related acts which threatens the peace of the land, as opposed to taking concrete steps to forestall such incidences.
The Senior Lecturer, expressed the hope that Ghanaians will boldly reject any politician whose campaign messages glorify violence, so as to send a strong message to such politicians that, the people are peace loving and that they will not allow themselves to be fooled by any power-thirsty politician.
By Kingsley Agorku