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Ahead of 2024 polls: Religion, ethnicity pose threat – NCCE

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Source: GraphicOnline

 

 

The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has triggered a series of measures to tackle concerns about religion and ethnicity that can threaten the nation’s democracy.

The measures include engaging political parties directly on their conduct and outbursts, working with opinion leaders and traditional rulers to reach political actors in communities and localities, as well as sensitise the citizenry to their rights and responsibilities.

The Chairperson of the commission, Kathleen Addy, said with political campaigns gathering momentum towards the 2024 general election, religion and ethnicity had emerged as two of the subjects with the potential to divide the nation.

She said such issues needed to be nipped in the bud before they degenerated.

Ms Addy said this when she led a team from the commission to call on the Editor, Graphic, Theophilus Yartey, at the Graphic Communications Group Ltd head office in Accra.

She said the commission had begun stakeholder engagements with individuals and groups, especially politicians and political parties, to remove divisive messaging from the campaign platform to help consolidate the democratic gains and the peace of the country.

She said the visit was to solicit the support of GCGL towards its work and to deepen the existing relationship between the two organisations.

The NCCE Chairperson said: “Religious tolerance has become topical for us now in the context of politics.

That is an issue that lies directly on our doorstep because if you are talking about orientation and mindsets, people living and tolerating one another and giving others space is a very important thing”.

She said it was unfortunate that “already, we have seen some politicians attempt to divide people on the basis of religion, and we at NCCE are committed to ensure that those attempts to divide the people do not happen in the run-up to the 2024 elections”.

 

NCCE role

Ms Addy said the role of the NCCE was to educate the citizens on their civic duties and responsibilities to ensure that everybody understood and accepted the 1992 Constitution, and remained committed to defend it.

“Our job is to build the citizens with the right mindset, the right orientation, right values; we expect them to then work together to build the country so that we can achieve our idealised vision of Ghana, economic growth, development and opportunity for everybody.

That is the purpose of the commission,” the NCCE Chairperson said.

Aside from the civic and voter education, as well as highlighting the rights and responsibilities of the citizenry, Ms Addy said the commission was currently working on the security threats by creating awareness in border communities of violent extremism following the insurgence of terrorist groups in the sub-region.

That, she said, was being implemented in eight regions, namely Northern, North East, Savanna, Upper East, Upper West, Bono, Bono East and Oti.

She said the commission had been working with traditional and religious leaders, security staff and local people, including assembly members, in order to carry out impactful civic education in communities across the country, adding that in every district that relationship existed

She commended the Daily Graphic for remaining professional in the discharge of its duties.

 

Supports

The Editor, Graphic pledged the support of the company to help sustain the peace and democracy in the country.

He said there could only be accelerated development in the country in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility.

“We will work with you and support you.

As I said, we are 73 years old, and there are things we believe in.

We believe in truth and accuracy every day, which is our mantra, with honesty being one of our core values,” he said.

Mr Yartey said the flagship publication, Daily Graphic, would continue to chart the path of development for the country.

Ms Addy was on the visit with her two deputies in charge of Operations, and Finance and Administration, Samuel A. Akuamoah and Victor K. Brobbey, respectively.

Other members of her team were the Ag. Commission Secretary and Right To Information (RTI) Officer, Lucille Hewlett Annan; the Director of Communications and Corporate Affairs, Joyce Benedicta Afutu; the Director of Administration, Dora Hammond; the Director of Research, Dr Henrietta Asante-Sarpong; the Director of Finance, Monica Mamattah, and the Director of Programmes, Dr Imurana Mohammed.

 

Source: www.graphic.com.gh