Ghana's peace not absolute – Dr Alidu

By Prosper K. Kuorsoh, GNA

Wa, Sept. 6, GNA –
Dr Seidu Alidu, a Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Science of the
University of Ghana, says that even though Ghana is noted as a peaceful
country, that does not mean it is enjoying absolute peace.

He explained that
the relative peace in Ghana has the tendency of sliding into chaos if care is
not taken.

He warned that no
one should think that Ghana could not go to war by taking peace efforts for
granted, Dr Alidu said during a “media engagement on the use of peace
messages” in Wa.

The National Media
Commission (NMC) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) organised
the workshop for media practitioners and journalists in the Upper West Region
to educate them on the use of peace messages in Election 2016.

He said political
parties in Ghana are not formed based on ideas and philosophies but largely on
ethnicity or identity, a practice he noted could be dangerous in maintaining
peace during violence.

He pointed out that
the way political parties select their candidates determines how they mobilize
votes.

He said such manner
of mobilisation may cause the degeneration of a purely partisan conflict into
an ethnic, religious or regional conflict.

Another worrying
development Dr Alidu identified was the complete bastardisation of the
Electoral Commission (EC) by one part of the political divide.

“Let no one be
deceived that everybody in Ghana love peace, this is because some people profit
when there is war and so will always want the media to set the war
agenda,” he noted.

He appealed to
journalists not to allow anybody to belittle their intelligence, adding that they
must also be tolerant of people’s views especially when they are critical and
constructive.

Dr Alidu urged
journalists to develop their knowledge capacity to enable them to effectively
educate the public and professionally engage people during discussions.

He said the role of
the media is very crucial to the success of the 2016 elections and appealed to
journalists and other media practitioners to critically examine whatever
content that is being churned out, to ensure that it is public interest.

He said the EC
enjoys less space and attention from the media as compared to the political
parties, saying this is not helping in the proper education of the electorate
who need such information to be able to exercise their voting right.

GNA

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