6 December 2012

Ghana: Ave Youth March for Peaceful Elections

The President of the Efo Yeyetor Foundation (EYF), Mr. Tony Quist, has called on the Ghanaian media to be circumspect in what they report to the world, before, during, and after tomorrow's elections.

According to him, editors of newspapers, online portals, radio, and television producers must exhibit a strong sense of vigilance, by reporting stories and developments that seek to promote national cohesion, peace and development. This requires media institutions to avoid sensationalism and incitement, which have the propensity to derail efforts at engendering peace among parties and their supporters, he said.

"The media should emphasise on stories which will unite us, rather than those that divide us," he stressed. He noted that beyond the elections, the media must help society to focus its time and energy on promoting developmental issues such as health care, education, the economy, and sanitation among other things "to sustain us as one people."

He pointed out that in countries that had witnessed electoral violence and civil strife on the African continent over the past decades, the media was used as a potent vehicle for violence and ethnic cleansing, rather than as a rallying point for unity, peace and national development.

He said the call on the media was important, because, "we do not want to sit aloof while there are early warning signals in some parts of the country."

Mr. Quist was speaking on the occasion of a peace walk organised by the EEF, in collaboration with the Ave Youth Association (AYA), at Ave-Dakpa in the Akatsi North District of the Volta Region on Sunday.

The event, which brought together parliamentary candidates of the political parties and citizens of Ave, was aimed at calling on Ave citizens and all Ghanaians to help sustain the peace, before, during, and after the 2012 general elections.

Furthermore, Mr. Quist indicated that the walk was "in the spirit of unity and patriotism to assure the good people of Akatsi North constituency of our commitment towards peaceful and violent-free elections."

For the media to live up to expectation, he called on all persons, especially politicians and their supporters, to refrain from postures and utterances that had the potential to cause provocations of opponents or other people.

He stressed that the media was "the vehicle on which we all ride to send our messages across to the public," so all messages must ensure peaceful co-existence, and above all, peaceful elections.

He concluded that "we are here with one voice to send a message to our members in Ave and in the Diaspora, that the youth of Ave, represented by this body, have resolved to change the face of our political activities. We have resolved that our campaign messages would be focused on peace building and national development, rather than on insults, intemperate language, provocative statements, and any incitement of or against groups, tribes or religious sects in Ghana."

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