Home » Bridging Divides: Ghana’s Political Rivals Unite for Bawku’s Peace

Bridging Divides: Ghana’s Political Rivals Unite for Bawku’s Peace

NPP and NDC Collaborate to Ensure Harmony Ahead of Elections

by Adenike Adeodun

In an unprecedented move aimed at fostering peace and stability, the leadership of Ghana’s ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have joined forces to ensure peaceful elections in the Bawku area for the upcoming 2024 polls. The decision comes after a two-day engagement session facilitated by the Belim Wusa Development Agency (BEWDA), with financial support from the European Union (EU) through COGINTA-Ghana’s Preventing Electoral Violence and Providing Security to Northern Border Regions of Ghana (NORPREVSEC) initiative.

The Bawku area, comprising six constituencies—Pusiga, Bawku Central, Garu, Tempane, Binduri, and Zebilla—has historically been a hotspot for electoral tensions and violence. Recognizing the need for proactive measures to ensure peaceful elections, representatives from both the NPP and NDC convened to consolidate strategies for promoting peace and security in the region.

Yussif Otumba, the NDC Communications Officer for Bawku Central, announced the outcome of the engagement session, revealing a joint commitment by both parties to organize a peace walk through the streets of Bawku, with the collaboration of security agencies. This symbolic gesture aims to demonstrate unity and solidarity in the pursuit of peaceful coexistence, transcending partisan divides.

A key aspect of the joint communique issued at the conclusion of the session is the call for party members to refrain from inciting violence or hostility towards members of the opposing party. Instead, they are urged to focus on constructive engagement and dialogue, with a shared goal of enhancing the well-being of the community through political participation.

Central to the peace-building efforts is the recognition of the importance of maintaining a peaceful atmosphere during the electoral process, particularly at polling stations. Both parties have pledged to ensure the safety of polling agents across the six constituencies, underscoring their commitment to upholding the integrity of the electoral process.

As preparations intensify for the voter registration exercise scheduled from May 7 to May 27, 2024, both the NPP and NDC have appealed to the Electoral Commission (EC) to deploy adequate biometric registration kits. This request aims to address previous challenges where eligible voters were unable to register due to logistical constraints and disagreements over the location of registration centers.

In addition to logistical preparations, the parties have called upon traditional authorities, Members of Parliament, parliamentary candidates, and other stakeholders to support the peace-building efforts outlined in the joint communique. Their collective endorsement is seen as essential for fostering a conducive environment for peaceful elections and promoting social cohesion within the community.

Ali Anankpieng, Executive Secretary of the Upper East Regional Peace Council, emphasized the significant role of political parties in de-escalating tensions and promoting reconciliation in the Bawku area. He stressed the importance of responsible leadership and urged political actors to exercise restraint, particularly in the use of inflammatory language on social media and campaign platforms.

Peter Asaal, Executive Director of BEWDA, expressed optimism about the outcomes of the engagement session, noting the potential of the agreed-upon activities to contribute to lasting peace and stability in the region. He highlighted the importance of sustained dialogue and collaboration among all stakeholders in addressing underlying grievances and building trust within the community.

As the countdown to the 2024 elections begins, the collaborative efforts of the NPP and NDC signal a significant step forward in promoting peace and democracy in Ghana. By setting aside partisan differences and prioritizing the collective interest of the community, they demonstrate a commitment to upholding the principles of democracy and fostering a culture of peace and tolerance in the Bawku area and beyond.

Source: Graphic Online

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