Presidential candidates converge in Kumasi to endorse peace

That’s how we will have peace. The youth of the country want it. Thank you.

The only times Ghanaians become violent is when they feel cheated or that justice has not been done. Whatever party the violence comes from, you must hold them accountable.

The president vows peace and will stand for peace.

If someone has given you a gun, told you to steal a ballot box, or do something else illegal, for God’s sake please don’t do it.

Everyone hearing us today is going to sign a public statement here pledging their commitment to peace and electoral fairness.

The only thing I see left is our sense of integrity and honesty.

Everywhere I go, I have heard that people want peace. Ghanaians are among the most peaceful people in the world. We are praying for peace, Muslims and Christians. We are all committed to peace in this country.

I am here on behalf of Dr. Sakara, who for reasons beyond his control could not be here (he was out of the country and could not get a flight in time.)

The Convention People’s Party (CPP’s) Abu Sakara, represented at this meeting by his Vice, Sherita Sarpong stated that: Thank you to all the former presidents, Madame Chief Justice, the head of the security agencies, the presidential candidates, and everyone here and those listening to us today.

Many leaders have sacrificed their lives to maintain this peace so that we might inherit it. We want peace. Thank you.

Throw them away and give the match to the PNC. Even on this platform, some people were still attacking as they delivered their peace messages. It is time for us as a nation to preach peace.

When I become president, I won’t be the president of the PNC but of the Republic of Ghana. I am not going to serve the PNC, I will serve Ghanaians, so why must the NPP engage the NDC and vice versa?

Why do you want to separate the people and rule? Who will you rule then?

If we cannot unite you, we cannot rule you.

We act like gorillas when we come out in public, but in the back rooms we drink wine and coffee.

I welcomed Prof. Mills and was called an NDC man, but I’ve been doing the same thing every day. But we must show the people that we candidates do not fight with one another so that they do not either.

Every one of the candidates here wants to be president, but to scrunch your face? you can’t be president.

From all the 8 political leaders here, we must show some sense of humor. We must make Ayarigate, which is somebody who can make a whole nation laugh and smile in joy. Yes. We want to become presidents of the nation.

You all know that Ayariga is a man of peace, who preaches peace day in day out. We want (peace!) We want (peace!)

I must congratulate his majesty (says the same correctly this time) for sponsoring this event. He has spent so much time and resources to bring all the presidential candidates, political leaders, and everyone else here together. It is a historic event.

Hassan Ayariga, the Presidential Candidate of the People’s National Convention (PNC), said amid(Coughs): Today, I must confess and I must congratulate his majesty Osei Duffuor (laughter)…

I ask the UFP members and the others to conduct themselves peacefully, thank you.

Let me also take this opportunity to advise my fellow candidates that we should desist from any actions that will trigger violence. This platform is a platform from which to send messages of peace, let’s continue to do that and diligently protect our democracy.

The EC is doing a marvelous job because they engage all the leaders in all the processes, and this gives me hope for free, transparent, elections.

We are going to defend the constitution of this nation at all times. We will not indulge any electoral malfeasance, and we will conduct ourselves in such a manner that our elections are peaceful, free, and fair.

I will commit myself this afternoon to the peace treaty. I will always walk the talk.

Let me assure you that as a leader and peacemaker, I will ensure that my followers also follow suit. The time has come for Ghanaians to stand in unity and make Ghana a peaceful nation.

Let me retrace my commitment to the peace process of our democracy. I’m a peaceful person as are my supporters and followers. We will embark on our campaign with all the respect and dignity it deserves.

Flagbearer of United Front Party (UFP), Kwesi Addai added: I stand before you today in my capacity as a flagbearer. We will choose a president to lead the country on December 12th, I mean 7th, I beg your pardon.(laughter)

On election day, our true colors will show. Thank you.

We are the best alternative party for a peaceful Ghana. I want to thank all of you and let you all know that the PPP is wide awake and will be peaceful, disciplined, dignified, and respectful.

Our single minded purpose is to create jobs for Ghanaians, but that will not happen if there is not peace. Believe us when we say that peace is our goal.

I want to talk to the people of the PPP and thank them for carrying themselves with dignity in the face of provocation. Even when our people have been attacked or dismissed from their jobs, they remained respectful and peaceful and I thank them for that. Stand firm! Be encouraged, be brave, be bold, and do what you need to do, but do it with respect and dignity.

No party has won a single vote yet, we are all struggling for the votes of Ghanaians, and our people have experienced some indignities and aggression.

We also want to affirm to you that our party will continue on the course of peace and ensure that our stability is protected. We must also say that because we are disciplined and respectful, we are not weak.

We have educated our people, young and old, to be respectful and discipline, and no PPP member has disrupted the peace or engaged in violence.

Free and fair elections do not just happen on voting day, it’s a goal that we build up to throughout the years. In the past, the process may not have been free or fair, but we the PPP are the only political party in Ghana whose motto includes the word peace (prosperity in peace.)

Flagbearer of the Progressive People’s Party (PPP), Paa Kwesi Nduom said that: If we are here this afternoon, it is because we recognize that there is the potential for violence in our election as well as impunity and injustice, which we have experienced in the past.

I pledge to respect the results of the election and look forward to living in a more peaceful Ghana tomorrow.

The president must move beyond discourse and ensure that all these offices and institutions carry out their jobs faithfully and objectively.

People do not feel that the security forces are party color blind, and this fuels anxieties.

The recent attack on NPP supporters at Asutifi South by a sitting NDC MP shake public confidence in elections, as do issues like the lack of investigation into the Yaw Boateng Gyan tape.

The security agencies must have a free hand to fulfill their mandate objectively.

It is in our interest that the elections come off peacefully and that the outcome is credible. We have reasonable confidence in the systems put in place by EC and we urge that commission’s administrators to do their jobs objectively.

We pledge not to endanger the peace of the nation in any way over the course of these elections.

The peace that we seek can only be guaranteed if all parties involved, not just political, play their part in assuring fair elections.

My party has sketched out a program that we believe can take the country further in development, and we need the support of the people to govern.

I have fought and stood shoulder to shoulder with this country’s people in advancing democracy, and I want to be president of a nation at peace with itself.

New Patriotic Party (NPP) flagbearer Nana Akufo-Addo: I,like the vast majority of the Ghanaian people, believe in democracy as the best system of government under which this nation, under God, should be developed.

Peace! Peace! Thank you very much.

Because we’ve got the best democracy in the world, and we must stand up and let the world know.

Peace! No violence! Why?

The flagbearer of the GCPP Henry Lartey: Your majesty Asantehene, former presidents, lady chief justice, National House of Chiefs, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, we of the GCPP believe in peace, say it with me.

I want again to thank the National Peace Council, our former presidents and the other distinguished people who have come, and to my colleagues in this election, I say that we can make it if we work together.

I urge our church leaders to pray for peace as we work towards it, and I thank our traditional rulers for advocating peace. I ask them to continue to do so in a non-partisan manner.

I am a person of peace, and I have led by example and avoided insulting my opponents or anyone else for that matter. In fact, I’ve asked members of my team to take a cue from my character and communicate as civilly as they can. The intemperate language in politics must be reigned in if we are to lead our supporters to a violence free future.

We have security forces, new equipment, and more infrastructure geared towards ensuring electoral safety and credibility.

I have a responsibility as president and candidate to carry out these roles to the best of my ability and in the national interest. My government has worked to provide a safe, complication-free election.

We must now rise up as a people and see that nothing disgraces this reputation. This election can establish our reputation as perhaps the best democracy in the world.

Speaking recently at the UN, I invited people to come supervise our elections. Several declined because they said that we already have credible elections.

The price for freedom and peace is eternal vigilance. Ghana is held to a much higher standard than some other African states and our democracy has been said to have matured.

This event will lay the basis for we the key stakeholders in this electoral process to express our dedication to electoral peace. We have established solid democratic credentials since 1992 as our 6th election as a republic draws near.

President John Dramani Mahama said: I’ll ask you to pardon me for my scratchy voice, it’s a symptom of campaigning. My statement will be brief and I want to start by thanking the National Peace Council for organizing this event.

The Electoral Commission must undertake its task seriously and objectively so that we are confident in its impartiality. They must keep the love of God and country sincerely at heart.

The world is looking at Ghana as an oasis of democracy on this continent, and all of us must commit to a free, fair vote.

Anyone who allows themselves to be used to undermine the purity of the vote is committing a serious crime, and we must all stand up against this kind of fraud and electoral violence to ensure that they are not perpetrated against us, lest we become slaves in our own country.

I appreciate all those who have contributed to opening up this platform so that we end up with a president who really embodies the hopes and dreams of Ghanaians, and in the name of humanity let’s use our vote to properly select a new president.

The constitution has devised the vote as the exclusive mechanism to the highest seat in the land. Anyone who tries to undermine the purity of the vote is committing a serious crime, and certain servants of the state such as security forces are charged with stopping them.

We do all sorts of things as politicians. At the end of the day, the people’s vote may not yield the result that everyone wants, but at least all stakeholders are alert to how the vote of the people is delivered pure and straight so that we might all submit to our collective decision and accept the leader that we choose. If too many people feel they have been cheated, the arguments could degenerate into untold difficulties for the entire nation.

The people here represent the entire nation of Ghana. I’ve never seen such an event before in my political career. We’re gathered here because it’s about power, and throughout history people have done all kinds of terrible things to secure power. We happen to be living in times when we as a nation have agreed that power should belong to the people who, as individuals, line up to vote. Anybody wanting to lead us must submit to the will of the people. When we are fed up, we will vote to replace him.

We are gathered here on the bidding of the King of Asante and our elders, the National House of Chiefs, National Peace Council, and our nation’s religious, civil society, and political leaders. It is important that we accord this occasion its due seriousness and singularity of purpose.

It has been said that a nation without elders is like a boat without an even keel. This is very true.

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor: This is truly a historic, symbolic, but also real forum of the nation in search of the means to secure peace in the exercise of the most basic right of the citizens of Ghana.

I want to express my gratitude to the National Peace Council for hosting such an important forum. The IDEG under Dr. Akwetey should also be commended.

We’ve come too far as a nation to allow the next few days to destroy the gains our political system has made. We must not fail our people.

The media must also apply strict ethics to reporting political discourse. Security agencies have an equally important responsibility to be fair and forthright in executing their duties. The judiciary must settle electoral disputes with swiftness and fairness to endow the electoral process with credibility.

What does it mean to win an election if the victory is won through violence?

The tensions in some parts of the country are real and must not be ignored. Our leadership has a major responsibility to give proper counsel to their supporters across the country to desist from reckless impunity if this meeting is to mean anything.

All the political parties have played a part in this unpleasant state of affairs, but the presidential candidates of all parties have gathered here to express their commitment to peace.

Ghanaians are alarmed by the vitriolic language flooding our airwaves. Politicians seek to be as abusive as possible rather than debating the issues honestly. We cannot sustain this trend and guarantee peace. It is a catalyst for conflict. I am in no way suggesting that people should be meek and mild. People should have the right to be responsibly vigilant during the electoral process.

We must thank God that the conflicts were not more severe. The nature of partisan politics and the tensions that have accompanied it show that we cannot take our peace for granted.

Since inaugurating our 1992 Constitution, we’ve been blessed by peaceful transitions, although many of these were marked with uncomfortable levels of tension, violence, and the threat thereof.

Former President Jerry John Rawlings said: This is indeed a full house and I feel very honored and privileged to participate in this forum. It is significant that we have created such a valuable forum to seek commitment and consensus on a violence free election.

We must thank God that violent acts perpetuated in the past during elections have not resulted in full blown war, Naa Nabila stated, we should not take our peace for granted.

“As chiefs we believe peace and stability are non-negotiable.”

He stressed that tolerance and respect for one another will help promote peace.

President of the National House of Chiefs, Professor Naa Nabila said chiefs will continue to promote peaceful co-existence. He appealed to all political parties to refrain from engage in acts that will undermine the peace and stability of the nation.

“We have one Ghana, let us stand for one Ghana”

He also called for greater movement towards justice, peace and harmony.

He said Public confidence in the ability of politicians to foster peace is Ghana is currently very low and urged politicians to send a clear message to their supporters that we need peace.

The Most Reverend Asante, Chairman of the National Peace Council, said in his address that peace has been among humanity’s highest values and urged Ghanaians to do all to strengthen it.

Presidential candidates of the four main political parties – the NDC, NPP, CPP and PNC – have converged at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in the Ashanti regional capital Kumasi where they are expected to address several dignitaries and the general public on what they intend to do to consolidate the prevailing peace in Ghana.

 

Source:Myjoyonline.com