Last Wednesday at a colloquium on peaceful elections in Ghana held in Accra, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General and Head of the UN office for West Africa and Sahel, Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, called on political parties to desist from attacks on personalities and focus on relevant issues affecting the lives of Ghanaians.
According to the UN Special Representative, an election campaign should be an opportunity to debate issues and perspectives instead of trading insults, invectives, use of hate speech or language likely to foment bitterness, rancour or violence.
Dr. Chambas is very right. The truth is that Ghanaians over the years of voting at national elections have become quite discerning. People are looking at issues and how their living conditions are like or would be like based on policies and programmes being propagated by political parties.
With less than 90 days to go to the polls and as party political campaigns get heated up, the insults and attacks on political opponents have already started in earnest. The cheers of teeming party supporters at campaign grounds present a charged atmosphere for politicians to throw abuses and name callings at their opponents. In their minds, that is what their supporters want to hear and so they “open fire’’ on whoever they think are standing in their way.
unfortunately, these politicians refuse to accept that irrespective of the votes that they would get from their die hard supporters, there are still a good number of discerning voters out there that they would need to court. These are the voters who would frown on abusive politicians and rather go along with the one who is able to articulate how lives would be transformed based on good policies and programmes.
There are still many more voters who would go into an election looking at their living conditions and decide where their votes would go depending on how their conditions have been or would be like.
If any politician thinks that basing their campaigns on attacks and name callings are what would give them the votes, then we the voters need to show them that we have gone past that post. What we need and would be looking for is politics of development, peace and progress.
We need an environment of peace and tranquility and since insults and acrimonies create an environment of tension and bitterness, it is time we as voters shun those politicians who have no issues to discuss other than personal attacks.
That is why Today very much shares in the advice of Dr. Chambas and want to take this opportunity to call on the electorate to reject any politician who does not have any substance in his or her campaign messages except to shower personal insults and attacks.
IT is time we showed politicians that the intelligence of the electorate should never be under-rated.