Politics of Tuesday, 1 December 2015
The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) on Tuesday tagged Election 2016 as “Electoral Test Case,” for democratic institutions as well as national security agencies especially the Ghana Police Administration.
Mr Samuel Akuamoah, NCCE Deputy Chairman in charge of Operations noted that the professional integrity of the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies including the Ghana Armed Forces would be put to a strict test as the country is ushered into the 2016 electioneering.
Speaking to the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra, Mr Akuamoah therefore urged the Acting Inspector General of Police, Mr John Kudalor to take proactive measures to purge the police service of unprofessional elements that may derail or compromise national security.
He said the stakes in 2016 elections are so high that the Police Service must not compromise its professional standards.
“We need an uncompromising, firm, fair and robust but at the same time professional police personnel to protect life and property before, during and after Elections 2016.”
The NCCE Deputy Chairman commended Mr Kudalor for his elevation to the high office of Inspector General of Police, saying his professional capabilities are not in doubt “as over the years you have demonstrated to the whole world of your professional abilities”.
Mr Akuamoah also expressed the commission’s readiness to collaborate with the police administration to intensify public education and engagement on non-violence elections.
“Peaceful elections demand total commitment from all stakeholders, not just ceremonially signing the political parties’ code of conduct but putting in place political structures to enhance peaceful political environment before, during and after the 2016 elections,” he said.
He noted that the NCCE would work with the Police Administration to step up its educational campaign to ensure peaceful, free and fair elections.
Mr Akuamoah said the NCCE would carry out National Public Education campaign aimed at sensitising the electorate to the electoral process, effective participation and peaceful non-violent elections.
The Commission would also hold public forums with political party youth activists on tolerance, aspiring parliamentary candidates, as well as women’s groups, on the challenges of women participation in governance.
Other activities would focus on the National House of Chiefs, regional forums with the security agencies, monitoring and evaluation of regional and district activities and media interaction.
He said the Commission would organise public encounters for aspiring Members of Parliament to interact with the electorate.
With the security agencies, he said the commission would discuss with them their status as state institutions and the need to support the Electoral Commission to achieve peaceful elections.
Mr Akuamoah said as individuals, security personnel had their political inclinations, as well as the right to vote for political parties of their choice, but added that it was important they did not allow that to overshadow their work.
He said the commission would also give hearing to the security personnel concerning their perceived challenges about the elections and how to mutually address them.
He said the NCCE would organise forums with media practitioners on the need for them to be circumspect in their reportage to ensure that they help in securing peaceful elections, as well as refrain from using inflammatory language that could cause conflict.