The flagbearer of the opposition New Patriotic Party in Ghana, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo, speaking to party supporters at Koforidua in the Eastern Region of Ghana is reported to have said: “The 2012 general election would be a do or die affair stressing,
“They say we Akans (a large tribal group) are feeble and afraid and that once violence breaks up, we run away but I want to disabuse the minds of such people that we are brave and courageous people just like our forebears who founded our political tradition”, he said.
Well, we went to the streets of Accra to seek the views of Ghanaians on the outbursts of the opposition leader, Nana Akufo Addo, on the 2012 elections and this is what they had to say;
JOHN MAMPRUSI (WEIJA)
Violence erupts during elections in many countries because the people simply refuse to pray to the lord. There are some people who come to seek our mandate but in their minds, there is wickedness and plans of how to subvert the collective interest of the people. That is why we need to pray so that these demonic characters do not find their way anywhere near power. They do not mind if they have to throw the entire country into chaos in order that they and their cronies can loot the state. Fellow Ghanaians let us be on our knees and start praying because the emerging forces against the state are dangerous and are going to draw back the progress we have made over the period. God bless our homeland”
BARNABAS TAGOE (WEIJA)
The attitude of some of our political leaders leaves a very big room for concern. For me, I believe politics is a contest of ideas and the people then decide which to accept and what to ignore. The days when people come and scream on top their voices and promise things they know they can’t give the electorate if they are elected into political offices are over because over the years we have become wiser. It is never a right that one should be made a leader or President. It is only a privilege. I therefore find statements attributed to Nana Akufo Addo that the 2012 general elections must be a “do or die” affair as simply unfortunate. Was he trying to instil fear in the people ar he meant people must die to pacify his possible defeat in that elections? I think the time has come when politicians must begin to watch their utterances in order not to create unnecessary disturbances which would do nothing than draw back the progress of the nation”.
CHARLES NCHAMBLA (WEIJA)
By now I do expect that the electoral commission would have put its house in order and ensure that some of their short comings in the previous elections is not repeated this time round. The security agencies must also be battle ready for the up coming elections because the tensions are certainly going to be high. The people must be given the chance to elect their representatives without intimidation. Those who have already started beating the war-drums must know that they would be the ones who would be affected most if violence breaks out. I wonder how anyone can ever think of playing the ethnic card in this day and age. They forget that year after year the electorates are becoming mature and wouldn’t fall for some of these childish talk.”
FAUSTINA MENSAH (WEIJA)
I am very disappointed in statements purported to be coming from the flagbearer of the N.P.P, Nana Akufo Addo. In the position in which he is, it is very important that he and others like him watch their languge, especially when they are speaking in public. He is the leader of a big political party and I think to make comments which encourages party stalwarts and activists to turn violence even when they have not been attacked is uncalled for and unfortunate. Not long ago, it was this same man who was urging the President to commit troops to La Cote d’I voire so they could go and wage war. This time around he has begun exciting and pushing ridiculous thoughts into the minds of his supporters and I think this is a very dangerous development. He is a leader of a party and well known over this country, but if it is possible he must be brought to order sooner than later. That man is proving to be dangerous”.
JOHN ADIGO (WEIJA)
I strongly suggest that we find some money for our farmers so they can start producing food on a very large scale all over the country. When people are fed well they can hardly think about violence. When people are hungry the politicians can easily manipulate them into causing violence. With time we need to ensure that the farmers are given hope and recognition and given good value for the goods they produce so they can go on and produce more. The annual farmers day awards are good but I believe there are many ways we can motivate our farmers to put in more efforts”.
SALIFU SUMAILA (WEIJA)
There can only be violence because we refuse to put in place stringent measures which can check and also prevent it from happening. We do know what havoc violence wrecked on the stability and peace of our country yet still we sit mum year after year and fail to act. During the 2008 general elections, the Member of Parliament for this area, Ayorkor Botchwey, brought in macho men who hijacked the ballot boxes at Oblogo school polling station. Two solid years down the lane this woman has not been made to face the law and she is walking about as a free man. Next time, she would do it again and then gradually the people would be forced to accept electoral mal-practices as a norm. I also want to call on the Professor Mills led administration to create more jobs for the youth of this country. They must give us reason why we must fight and be vigilant over the boxes because gradually a good number of the youth are turning apolitical because they do not see any benefit in taking part in politics”.
KOFI ABANKWA (WEIJA)
There is a wise saying in Akan which when literally translated means, “one must always be prepared to face issues”. One of the ways we can ensure a violence free elections next year would depend so much on how well the Electoral Commission is prepared to embark on the journey. They must learn a lot from the district assembly election that was held recently. We know their work is very challengeing especially given the fact that a lot more people have reached the age of voting and must be registered so they can also exercise their franchise. The government must also give them the necessary resources they would need in order to make the exercise a success”.
GELBA SEIDU (WEIJA)
There can only be peace when there is work for everyone to do. The government must engage the youth in some productive ventures which would then lead them to developing their capacities towards national development. We need to also educate our people about the electoral processes and the need for them to participate in that process. We also have to find out from the political leaders exactly why they want our mandate. What are they going to differently from what is currently in existence? Failure to do so, we are going to be blinded by selfish parochial interest of some politicians and we would suffer in the final analysis”.