Members of the Ghana Institute of Surveyors (GHIS) have appealed to the Electoral Commission (EC) to take steps to ensure free, fair and peaceful 2016 elections.
The call, according to the surveyors, is to ensure that Ghanaians are not “destroyed” by the actions and inactions of politicians that may result from perceived bias on the part of the Electoral Commission (EC) towards a particular political party in this year’s crucial elections.
President of GHIS, Surveyor Ekow Budu-Anguah made the call on Monday in Accra at the official launch of the 11th Surveyors’ Week and 47th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors.
Addressing journalists at the GHIS’ Secretariat, Surveyor Budu-Anguah stated that the EC must do everything possible to ensure that the results of this year’s election are not controversial.
He urged the Commission to consult key stakeholders and all political parties in the conduct of the elections and shun the belief that the EC is an independent body and so must act independently even if key stakeholders are not satisfy with some of its decisions.
He said, “We are aware of the independence of the Electoral Commission but the paths of inclusiveness and consultation which we have been traveling on must be continued.”
Interestingly, the surveyors’ call comes in the wake of a controversial formation of an election steering committee by the EC, which is made up of key card-bearing members of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).
The EC has been severely criticized by other political parties, particularly the main opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) over the formation of the steering committee.
Surveyor Budu-Anguah also urged political parties “to be circumspect in utterances and avoid unguided statements, insults, deliberate lies and fabrications.
The campaigns must be civil, decorous and issues-based.”
Touching on other issues of national concern under the theme: ‘Built Environment Professionals Collaborating for National Development,’ Surveyor Budu-Anguah called for collaboration among state agencies to tackle road crashes across the country, describing the recent Kintampo-Tamale carnage that led to the untimely death of about 71 persons as very worrisome.
The GHIS however appealed to government to take more practical steps in addressing the nefarious activities of Fulani herdsmen in some parts of the country to ensure the protection of lives and properties.
“We, members of GHIS, propose that the state agencies – CSIR, Ministries of Agriculture, Environment, etc. in conjunction with Nananom and landowners must create designated grazing grounds which should be isolated from farming areas. The owners of such lands must be paid ground rents assessed professionally to make up for giving their lands.”
BY Melvin Tarlue