Deputy Minister for Education, Samuel Okudzeto-Ablakwa, says he cannot hide his disappointment at the excessive admonition for peace in the run up to the Supreme Court ruling on the ongoing election petition case.
According to him, the perceived tension that characterised the hearing has subsided because it was held in open court and carried live.
He is convinced Ghanaians absolutely understand the election petition process and will not resort to violence.
Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwa, who was commenting on the numerous calls for peace after the Supreme Court ruling on Radio Gold’s Alhaji and Alhaji on Saturday said “what is rather happening now is rather turning the tide and trying to raise tensions and present a cloud of uncertainty”.
He charged Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to be careful with incessant calls for peace because it could rather set the stage for violence and put pressure on the nine Judges hearing the case.
On Friday July 20, the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) spearheaded the National Summit on the theme: “Justice, Peace and Reforms will strengthen Ghana” aimed at sensitising Ghanaians about the need for peaceful coexistence when the Court rules on the 2012 Presidential election petition next month.
But Okudzeto-Ablakwa said even though the intentions of IDEG and other CSOs are noble in promoting peace there is a need for caution on how this is done.
The Concerned Clergy Association of Ghana (CCAG) has also suggested that the cries for peace are misplaced because it could scare away investors.
Since April 17 the Supreme Court has been hearing a petition brought before it by the New Patriotic Party (NPP) 2012 Presidential candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, his vice, Dr Mahamadu Bawumia and the party chairman, Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, that the declaration of President Mahama as President was unlawful.
The nine Judges presided over by Justice William Atuguba are likely to give their ruling on the matter next month.
There have been calls for the political parties involved in the case- NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC)- to prepare the minds of their supporters on the possible outcomes of the case, but this call seems to have intensified.
But in the view of Mr Okudzeto-Ablakwa, if the political party leaders who attend these programmes and sign peace pacts are not committed to the process, it becomes a waste of time.
Citing the Kumasi Declaration which was organised at the behest of the Asantehene, he said even though the opposition NPP signed a peace accord, they did not keep their word when they “bastadised the Electoral Commission, threw the declaration out of the window and attacked innocent citizens”.
He however charged heads of security authorities to swiftly come out with assurances that they are prepared and capable to protect the peace of the country if any group of people attempt destabilising the nation.
Lawyer Okudzeto could have been more balanced
He also added his voice to criticisms that renowned Lawyer, Mr Samuel Okudzeto, was biased in his address at the IDEG-organised “National Summit” on Friday.
In his view, it was wrong for the Lawyer to have insinuated that if the Supreme Court ruled that President John Mahama should vacate the Presidency, he should do so.
He said Lawyer Okudzeto should have stated a likely outcome against the Petitioners – that the President was legitimately declared winner of the December 2012 Presidential polls.
“I thought that he could have been fair in his analysis and he could have presented his statements without sounding bias”, because he [Lawyer Okudzeto] was introduced as a renowned Lawyer at the forum.