Mr Charles Nkrumah, Brong-Ahafo Regional Director of National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), on Friday called on media practitioners to help the Commission to educate the populace about the effects of violence during and after the election to ensure peace.
He noted that this year’s general election would be peaceful if the media remained neutral and contributed their quota responsibly by giving accurate, timely and unbiased information on the electoral process.
Mr Nkrumah made the call at a forum organised by the NCCE for media practitioners in the region to ensure tolerance, peaceful and violent-free elections in December.
He commended the media for their role so far in ensuring peace and sustenance of the country’s fledgling democracy.
Mr Nkrumah underscored the importance for the media to sensitize, educate and create civil awareness required in building a meaningful constitutional multi-party democracy whose freedom, justice, probity and accountability would accelerate the pace of development and stability of the nation.
He said in consonance with its mandate to ensure sustainability of Ghana’s democratic dispensation, the NCCE had embarked on a series of activities aimed at motivating citizens to exhibit tolerance during campaigning.
“To make the exercise much more effective and to yield very good and positive results, the NCCE has been holding forums with various stakeholders, notably political parties, women groups, security personnel and others,” the Regional Director added.
Mr Nkrumah admonished political parties to exhibit a high sense of civility and godly virtues in their electioneering campaigns so that the country would experience peace before, during and after the elections.
Mr Charles Koomson, Regional Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association, explained that the future of Ghana’s democratic progress was intricately linked to the growth and development of the media.
The media, he said, did not only mirror the society but even more critically, provided the country’s system of government with the vital oxygen that it required to remain a truly functional democracy.
Mr Koomson, also the Regional Manager of Ghana News Agency (GNA), expressed regret that some media practitioners carried out their responsibilities with mischievous mediocrity that provoked justifiable public condemnation.
He stressed the importance for the media to always exercise circumspection in their coverage and ensure that they did not delay voting and counting of ballots.
“Any journalist who, during the elections decides to work as formal domestic observer or party agent shall not be accorded journalistic rights and privileges”, Mr. Koomson said.
He advised media practitioners to get themselves abreast with and understand basic electoral terms such as polling agent, polling assistant, presiding officer, impersonation, irregularities and multiple voting.
The Reverend Richard Owusu-Achiaw, Founder and Overseer of Living Grace Ministry, who presided, entreated political parties to educate their supporters to tolerate each other and see opponents as brothers and sisters with a common destiny.
He advised the media to uphold the virtues of accuracy, integrity, neutrality, objectivity and high professional standards in their reportage in order not to inflame passions which could mar the election and destabilise the country.
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