Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council (NPC), on Wednesday said the media is the best ally to protect Ghana’s fundamental peace in the ongoing 2012 election petition hearing, post hearing and the final verdict of the Supreme Court.
“It is not for anything that the media is called the fourth estate of the realm and so for this to reflect in their duties, the media should strive to get positively engaged with all bodies responsible for ensuring peace in the country”, he said.
He noted that unless the media positively work with the NPC and other peacemaking bodies, there would be no peace in Ghana.
Prof Asante made the remarks at a Press Conference held in Accra by the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG), Civic Forum Initiatives (CFI) and the NPC, ahead of a Post-Election 2012 National Summit scheduled to take place on Friday in Accra.
It’s also aimed at engaging the media to appreciate that as the election petition was getting to an end, measures are needed to restore peace, as anxious supporters of the various political parties geared up towards the verdict.
He said the NPC, which came into existence in 2011, is mandated to work with other civil societies to promote peace in the country and it works hand in hand with the Ghana Independent Broadcasters’ Association (GIBA), Ghana Journalist Association (GJA), Editor’s Forum, and the National Media Commission among others, in taking the necessary measures to ensure peace in the country.
Nana Asantewa Afadzinu, Executive Director of West Africa Civil Society Institution (WACSI), said the theme for the summit, which is “Justice, Peace and reform will strengthen Ghana,” was timely, as it would reinforce the quest for peace, which started with the pre-election High Level Forum of November 2012 that culminated in the signing of the “Kumasi Declaration”.
She stated that the urgent motivation for the national summit, derived from the critical necessity of preparing the nation as a whole to manage in a well-planned, coordinated and effective way towards the aftermath of the 2012 Presidential election petition verdict, which the Supreme Court may deliver soon.
“In whatever direction the verdict may go, our nation will face daunting and complex challenges that may include but not be restricted to the potential outbreak of the violent reactions from diverse political actors”, she added.
She, therefore, advised that to avert any potential violence and damage to national cohesion and stability, the dialogue process that the summit intends to initiate would embrace eminent citizens, chiefs, former presidents, and leadership of political parties, youth, women, students as well as civil society organisations in the country to help in the promotion of peace.
She said the urgent force behind the summit included the NPC, National House of Chiefs, the Manhyia Palace, IDEG and the CFI.
Mr Emmanuel Bombande, Executive Director of West Africa Network for Peace Building (WANEP), said Ghana has the advantage of being proactive and so it was better citizens appreciated and worked towards her protection.
“Peace making must be the job of each and every one, every one of us must realise we all have a role to play and by proper education it can be achieved”, he advised.
He called on all citizens to appreciate that conflict is available in countries, societies and every aspect of each individual’s life, but Ghanaians should have the spirit of confronting theirs through better dialogue, education, sensitization programmes and positive information sharing to help peace prevail in the country.