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Election is about counting heads not cutting heads, says Hadzide

The deputy information minister urges politicians to shun violence and ethnocentric comments in the lead-up to the 7 December general election

Pius Enam Hadzide, deputy minister of information, says the election is about counting heads and not cutting heads, and that the government will not tolerate acts of violence in the 7 December polls.

In his quest to cut off the politics of violence, he said, President Akufo-Addo ensured the passage into law of the Vigilantism Bill. People and groups found perpetrating acts of violence will be dealt with accordingly, the deputy minister said.

Hadzide was speaking at a meeting with the Upper West Regional House of Chiefs in Wa during a sensitisation workshop on COVID-19. He urged political parties to avoid ethnocentric comments and posturing that could plunge the nation into chaos.

“We must remember that elections are about counting heads and not cutting heads,” he said. “[As such, we must avoid] any ethnocentric tendencies that have the potential to divide us. 

“The government remains committed to the maintenance of peace, law and order. That’s why President Akufo-Addo has moved to ensure the passage of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019, which criminalises vigilante and related activities and imposes a prison term of not less than ten years and not more than 15 years.”

Observe the law

He called on all political parties to observe the law and to help the law-enforcement agencies and the Electoral Commission to ensure peace before, during and after the 7 December polls.

Touching on measures introduced by the government to contain the spread of COVID-19, Hadzide said the government has won international recognition by taking proactive measures to contain the disease.

He urged Ghanaians to retain the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in government, noting: ‘‘You do not change a winning team and you do not change a general in the middle of a war, especially when he is consistently winning battles.

“Ghana is at war and the enemy is COVID-19. The enemy is illiteracy [and] dumsor. We have defeated dumsor and our lights are on now. We are defeating illiteracy by the introduction of Free SHS and we are defeating COVID-19,” Hadzide said.

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