FOSDA Urges EC, Stakeholders To Put Ghana First
The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), a regional civil society organisation has expressed concern about the lack of consensus among political parties and other key stakeholder with regards to the Electoral Commission’s (EC) proposal to compile a new Voter register for the 2020 general election.
Mrs Theodora Williams-Anti, Programmes Manager, FOSDA said the Foundation is worried that the entrenched position of the EC, political parties and other stakeholders can degenerate into violence if caution is not taken. ‘The voter register is a sensitive material in the electoral process, such confusion around at this time in an election year increases its potential to trigger violence before, during and after the elections.
FOSDA acknowledged that the Commission was in the best position to enumerate what was needed to ensure credible and trustworthy election come 2020; however, the timing and lack of consensus, especially among political parties, might go a long way to discredit the efforts.
“FOSDA calls on the EC to be sensitive to the political undertones of its decision and work to attain consensus with the political parties and major stakeholders,” Mrs Williams-Anti stated in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Accra.
“We equally urge both the EC and stakeholders, especially the political parties to show good faith , put the security of the nation first as they deliberate on the need or not of the Vote Register.
The Foundation also is concerned about the use of demonstrations by some political parties to express their displeasure about the EC’s decision. The Foundation appealed to all stakeholders, especially the political parties to use dialogue to engage the EC rather than resorting to demonstrations and another crowd pulling activities which have the potential of destabilising the country
Mrs Williams-Anti congratulated Ghanaian for peaceful conduct in 2019, despite the year being a challenging year rife with various security challenges, Ghanaians generally upheld Ghana’s enviable image as a beacon of peace.
She said FOSDA was calling on all Ghanaians to work harder to uphold and sustain the peace in 2020 being an election year
“We call on political leaders, especially to show maturity and be circumspect in the speech and action. We urge them to eschew hate speech, show leadership to influence their followers positively,” she said.
“We acknowledge that absence of war does not mean there is no conflict, Conflict will always arise but how we address it portrays the level of maturity as individuals and as a nation.”
She appealed to the Government to work hard to minimise some of the triggers of violence; stating that key among them was youth unemployment, interference in the work of key state institutions such as the electoral commission, security agencies as well as meddling in chieftaincy issues.
The Programmes Manager urged the Government to provide and facilitate the work of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with adequate funding
“We also call on Government to take another look at the Emile Short Commission report on the Ayawaso wuogon Constituency bye-election to sanitize the security sector for the upcoming elections,” Mrs Williams-Anti stated.”It is important that our security personnel act professionally before, during and after the 2020 elections.”
She further urged the Government to also invest in the provision of logistics and training for the security ahead of the elections.
Mrs Williams-Anti appealed to the police to ensure an equal society by ensuring compliance to the laws without fear of favour.
“We urge the media to be circumspect in the reportage use their platforms to promote peace rather than violence.”
She urged all Ghanaians, especially the youth to participate actively and positively in the democratic development of Ghana and say no to vigilantism.