The National Peace Council has met executives of various political parties to remind them of the potential dangers they could pose to citizens if they were not responsible in their speeches.
The meeting also sought to evaluate events and utterances in the political space since January 2023 that were creating unnecessary tension, which could lead to possible violence.
Rev Dr Ernest Adu Gyamfi, Chairman of, the National Peace Council (NPC), told the leaders that they could make statements strongly and forcefully without acrimony or disrespect for another opinion.
Rev. Dr Adu Gyamfi also appealed to the leaders of the various political parties to approach the dialogue with patriotism and feel free to discuss issues dispassionately and objectively.
“This will assure our citizens that we mean well in our desire to govern this country.”He said the NPC, in accordance with Act 818 section 3 (e) obliged the Council to “promote understanding of values of diversity, trust, tolerance, confidence building, negotiation, mediation, dialogues and reconciliations.”
The Council also took the opportunity to give a presentation on the NPC’s Guidelines on Intemperate Language.
The NPC Chairman appealed to the leaders to use the Guide on Hate Speech as reference documents to check abusive, divisive, and other forms of expressions with the potential to threaten the peace of the country.
Numo Blafo Akotia, a member of the NPC, said that in Ghana the phenomenon of hate speech and indecent forms of expression had suddenly grown, and the proliferation of such behaviour was more noticeable during election years.
“These potential explosives political statements from different sides of the political divide were obvious in the runup to 2008, 2012, 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections in Ghana.”
“The media also give platforms to hate speeches, fuel and fan such behaviours. Hate speech intimidates people, stifles confidence, and same weakens democracy.”
Sheikh Aremeyaw Shaibu, a member of the NPC, said the ordinary citizens were those who would be affected if violence broke out in Ghana, and urged political party leaders to be guided by their ethics and conscience.
Present at the meeting were representatives of the National Democratic Congress, New Patriotic Party, Peoples National Convention, Convention Peoples Party, and the Great Consolidated Popular Party.