Most Rev. Professor Emmanuel Asante, chairman of the National Peace Council, says members of the Council are deeply worried about the entrenched positions taken by some political parties on how to sanitize the electoral process in the country.
The National Peace Council on Tuesday held a forum in Koforidua, the Eastern Region capital to collate views from all political parties, civil society organisations and individuals on how to ensure trouble-free polls next year.
Most Rev. Prof. Asante expressed the sentiment when addressing the media after the programme.
“We also came close to it [violence in 2008 and 2012]. Are we going to be fortunate in 2016? We need to sit back and learn from what happened in 2012 – the successes and the challenges that confronted us. We need to talk about these and ask ourselves what we can do to avoid those challenges,” he charged.
“At the end political parties should be able to say ‘we have learned from one another’ and know the things we need to avoid and those we need to promote to ensure peaceful electioneering campaigns and elections,” he added.
According to the clergyman, some radio stations in the national capital, Accra, nearly incited the youth to cause violence in both 2008 and 2012 due to the kind of massages they carried to the public, especially supporters of both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
“We want the nation to be first in our thinking,” the religious leader pointed out.
Most Rev. Prof Asante called on Ghanaians to say things that would bring peace and unity among themselves rather than preaching violence.
His comments came after calls by the opposition NPP for the country to have a new voter register ahead of the 2016 elections.
Leading members of the party have on several occasions stated that the Electoral Commission has lost its credibility.
Meanwhile, the ruling NDC has also insisted that the current register should be audited for the 2016 elections instead of compiling an entirely new one.