The two main rival parliamentary candidates in Odododiodoo in the Greater Accra Region, Nii Lante Bannerman and Nii Lantey Vanderpuye, have pledged to champion a peaceful campaign, days after their supporters engaged in a bloody clash.
Last Sunday, supporters of the two main political parties in Ghana – the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) – clashed during a peace walk in James Town, Accra, resulting in 15 supporters sustaining injuries.
Two people have been arrested by the police.
Officials from the National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons engaged the two main parliamentary candidates on Tuesday (3 November) to commit to peace by signing a pact.
For his part, the NPP parliamentary aspirant, Nii Lante Bannerman, said: “As a person and as a political party, we believe strongly in the politics of ideas. We believe the electorate should be given the free will, without any persuasion whatsoever, to decide who and which party the person will want to vote for.”
He added: “We are not a violent party and we will not subscribe [to] or endorse any violence in any way and I strongly condemn what happened last time in no uncertain terms…”
Vanderpuye, concurred for the opposition NDC, rallying his supporters to coexist with everyone.
“I stand here today on behalf of the National Democratic Congress to commit myself to peace before, during and after the 7 December presidential and parliamentary election.
“I do this in the solemn belief that in this constituency we are a family and as such I cannot see myself vandalising, brutalising, attacking any member of my family,” the former minister of youth and sports said.
“I stand here to say that we in the NDC are committed to total peace. We want a peaceful election, we want a peaceful environment, so that our people will come out in their numbers to vote on 7 December 2020 for their preferred candidate…” Vanderpuye said.
Elections aren’t wars
Meanwhile, President Nana Akufo-Addo has condemned last Sunday’s clashes, saying violence has no place in Ghana’s politics.
“It is not about fighting. If you [a politician] have to use violence to win, then you don’t have anything for the constituents,” the president said, speaking on a public visit to Odododiodoo last week. “So, everyone who does that should be ignored and condemned.
“Elections are just a contest of ideas, and we don’t need violence to be able to do that.
“So, please, I beg of you, we don’t need violence in our country. We want peace.
“The world is watching Ghana in our upcoming polls and we should show them that we respect ourselves and understand democracy well,” the president said.