CHRAPS Paves way for Peaceful, Free, and Fair Elections

Centre for Conflicts, Human Rights and Peace Studies (CHRAPS) of the University of Education, Winneba (UEW) on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020, held a seminar to drum home to participants, state and non-state actors the need for a peaceful free, and fair elections in the upcoming 2020 general elections in Ghana.    

The seminar, held on the theme “Paving the way for a Peaceful, Free and Fair Elections: the role of State and Non-state Actors” at the Central Campus Auditorium, Winneba, saw conscientised presentations from academics of UEW CHRAPS and other invited academics. 

Among the topics presented were “Essence of Peaceful National Elections, Potential Dangers Associated with 2020 National Elections and Role of Moral Intelligence in Ensuring Peaceful, Free and Fair Elections”. 

Prof. Ruby Hanson giving the keynote address

Delivering the keynote address, Dean, Faculty of Science Education, UEW, Prof. Ruby Hanson, who represented the Vice-Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Prof.  Anthony Afful-Broni, stressed the need to show respect for human dignity and the recognition that basic rights are innate and critical to paving the way for peace. 

She indicated, “showing respect for human dignity, loving one’s neighbour as one’s self and allowing for rights that are inherent to all human beings are critical in paving a way for peace.” She added that “peace is necessary to support the unfolding of one’s innate characteristics to the fullest”. 

All Security Agencies were present at the seminar

She advocated for the establishment of institutionalised places where people could go and air their grievances whenever they are discontent with their leaders’ performances. “I am sure that post-electoral violence will be minimised if people could have a bit of hearing.”  

The Ag. Director, CHRAPS, UEW, Dr. Ekow Ghunney, in his welcome address, encouraged participants to pray for the nation and, contribute their quota diligently as well as responsibly to peaceful elections both in Winneba and Ghana as a whole. 

Ag. Director, CHRAPS,  Dr. Ekow Ghunney

In his presentation, a Senior Lecturer, Department of Sociology and Anthropology, University of Cape Coast (UCC), Dr. Joseph Kingsley Adjei who spoke on “Essence of Peaceful National Elections” identified the need to protect the peace the nation’s forefathers had built. He pointed out that to surmount conflict and ensure peaceful national elections there should be tolerance, transparency, fairness, and strong security before, during, and after the elections.  

Dr. Harrison Golo and Dr. Seth Tweneboah, both of UEW addressed participants on “Potential Dangers Associated with 2020 National Elections. They drew participants’ attention to certain mayhems as a result of electoral violence in some neighbouring countries. They, therefore, entreated both non-state and state actors to refrain from electoral violence and rather encourage their followers to be agents of peace in this year’s presidential and parliamentary general elections.  

Speakers (top L-R); Dr. Harrison Golo, Rev. Fr. Linus Nangwele, Dr. Joseph Kingsley Adjei and Dr. Seth Tweneboah 

Lecturer, UEW, Rev. Fr. Linus Nangwele ended the presentation session with his presentation on the “Role of Moral Intelligence in Ensuring Peaceful, Free and Fair Elections”. He stressed that everyone, no matter who they are, whether state or non-state actors, should be actively involved in ensuring peaceful elections this year. 

“It is a great public concern that Ghana could return to that dark period in its history if care is not taken in the way we conduct our politics. It is sad to note that since the inception of the fourth republic, elections whether general or local have often been fraught with violence, disruptions, and behaviours that threaten the stability, peace, and democracy of this country. Thus, the call for peaceful general elections this year, for me is a crucial conversation that we all ought to pay heed to,” he said.    

Participants deliberated on issues raised at the presentations and made meaningful contributions to each of the presentations.  

Other dignitaries present to grace the occasion were Chairperson for the occasion and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences Education, Dr. Lucy Effeh Attom; Deputy Chief Imam, Effutu, Alhaji Mohammed Mansuru Issah; Effutu Municipal Director of Education, Mrs. Mabel Judith Micah; Municipal Police Commander, Chief Supt. Samuel Asiedu Okanta; and NDC Parliamentary Candidate for Effutu, Dr. James Kofi Annan. 

 Dr. Lucy Effeh Attom chairing the program

Some dignitaries who graced the occasion

Both state and non actors participated in the exercise

Participants in a pose after the program