Members of the Ningo-Prampram District Inter Party Dialogue Committee (IPDC) have been urged to be worthy ambassadors of election 2016. The committee which is an initiative of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and funded by the European Union, was inaugurated in June this year to promote peace and serve as a platform for conflict resolution and dialogue.
Nene Atsure Benta II, Mankralo of the Prampram Traditional Area, chairing a meeting of the IPDC on Tuesday, said as stakeholders, members were in a good position to disseminate the correct information about the election in the residents of the District.
Nene Benta said as "evangelists" of the elections, members must use every opportunity to educate the electorate of their responsibilities. He indicated that they must also teach the electorate the processes involved in voting, especially thumb printing correctly. Nene Benta also advised members especially political party representatives not to instigate the public into violence by feeding them with inaccurate information but rather promote peace and use laid down processes to address issues.
He took members through the functions of the IPDC and the violations they are mandated to monitor. He however cautioned them against going beyond their mandates and usurping the powers of the security services but instead direct all complains to the presiding officers at polling stations and police.
The functions of the IPDC include working with the National Peace Council and all key stakeholders to promote peace, as well as providing the platform for stakeholders' engagement with political parties. The IPDC are to monitor and report violations involving distribution of monies and other gifts to electorates, declaration of election results by political parties and their members, defacing of posters, biased media reportage and campaign violence. Other violations for monitoring are the use of provocative and abusive language by political parties and their members, rigging of elections and abuse of incumbency.
Members agreed to organize community durbars, floats, parliamentary debates and other platforms to educate the electorates in the district especially on observing peace before, during, and after the elections. Mr Charles Botchey Junior, Ningo-Prampram District Electoral Officer, advised members to be conversant with the C.I. 94 in order not to fall foul of it.
Mr Botchey Junior bemoaned the behaviour of political party representatives who fail to educate their members on the electoral rules even though it was their mandate to carry such information to their followers. Mr Mathew Tay, Ningo-Prampram District Coordinating Director, asked all organizations within the District who want to organize a parliamentary debate to do so in collaboration with the NCCE and the IPDC to ensure peace and order.
Mr Tay also started that intensive education on voting would be organized for the electorates to ensure a drastic reduction in rejected ballots, adding that in November a special training would be organized for the about 50 visually impaired registered voters in the District on how to properly thumbprint.
Miss Gifty Agyeiwaa Badu, Ningo-Prampram District NCCE Director, reiterated the need to promote peace before, during and after the December 7 general elections. Miss Badu said as the custodians of the Peace in the District,the IPDC members must actively participate in the educational activities of the NCCE.