The National House of Chiefs is urging the Electoral Commission to ensure that no Ghanaian is disenfranchised in the 2020 general election.
In a statement, the chiefs bemoaned the EC’s failure to honour their invitation to hold a dialogue on the new voters’ register, which they say is central to the escalating tension in Ghana.
“Central to the escalating tension is the decision of the Electoral Commission to compile a new voters’ register. Unfortunately, the EC failed to honour invitations to the National House of Chiefs, when our traditional leaders wanted the opportunity to promote dialogue in the interest of peace.
“We want to call on the EC to make peaceful conduct of this year’s general elections its primary objectives. It would require, among others, that no qualified Ghanaian is disenfranchised, and that the elections are free and fair,” the House of Chiefs said.
The call by the House of Chiefs comes at a time when the EC has issued a roadmap for the compilation of a new electoral roll.
In its statement, signed by its president, Togbe Afede XIV, the House of Chiefs urged the EC to ensure that the December polls are peaceful and that the processes leading up to them reflect the ideals of the framers of the constitution.
Read the full statement below:
We are very concerned about the growing tension in our country, at a time when we are confronted with a lot of challenges – COVID-19 pandemic, CSM epidemic, flooding, joblessness —that naturally require that we stick together and work towards finding the appropriate solutions
In the face of these challenges, what Ghanaians need is hope, not fear. But sadly our airwaves are filled with intimidation, and threats of anarchy, mayhem, war…. Our political leaders appear to be more concerned about winning power, than the development needs and the happiness of our people.
Central to the escalating tension is the decision of the electoral commission to compile a new voter’s register. Unfortunately, the EC failed to honour invitations to the national house of chiefs, when our traditional leaders wanted the opportunity to promote dialogue in the interest of peace.
We want to call on the EC to make peaceful conduct of this year’s general elections its primary objectives. It would require, among others, that no qualified Ghanaian is disenfranchised, and that the elections are free and fair.
We all have to remember that power is not exercised in a vacuum, and so it would be naïve of anyone to think that a constitutionally created “independent body” has unbridled power. That cannot be the intention of the framers of our constitution.
We humbly ask for sober reflection, an honest evaluation of our progress as a nation over the past 63 years, and a recommitment by all Ghanaians to the ideals that inspired our founding fathers.
We need to give substance to their claim that the black man is capable of managing his own affairs.
At this time when unimaginable atrocities are being visited on the black man in various parts of the world, we need to work together to strengthen the peace, and create harmonious living conditions at home, so that xenophobic isolation abroad would not be preferred by our people.
As chiefs, we have the responsibility, and the duty, to speak objectively on national issues, and in defense of the national interest.
So at this crucial time, we owe a sacred duty to our people to remind all of us about the “pledge to be faithful and loyal to Ghana, my motherland”. That is why we are asking all Ghanaians to subordinate individual interest and political party loyalty to the national desire for peace, unity and development.