, 18 December, 2020 / 3:07 PM
Following days of post-election unrest in some parts of Ghana, members of the Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference (GCBC) have called on the leadership of political parties and their supporters to restrain from all forms of violence.
In the Wednesday, December 16 statement shared with ACI Africa, GCBC members they are concerned about the loss of lives and injuries suffered by the people of God in some constituencies.
“We wish to call on the leadership of the two major political parties and their supporters to exercise restraint and avoid all forms of violence in the aftermath of the declaration of the Presidential and Parliamentary results by the Electoral Commission,” GCBC members say.
In their collective statement signed by GCBC President, Archbishop Philip Naameh, they add, “Aware that in every competition there are bound to be winners and losers, we wish to call on all stakeholders to exhibit maturity in accepting both defeat and victory. In this way, reactions to any of the two conditions would be measured, modest and charitable towards one another.”
At least five people were killed in election-related violence in Ghana between December 7 and 9, the National Election Security Taskforce (NESTF) reported December 10.
NESTF also recorded sixty-one (61) electoral and post-electoral incidents across the West African nation.
In the December 16 statement, the Catholic Bishops “humbly appeal to all who have issues with the results to kindly address these issues through the legitimate procedures for redress.”
They also call on the leadership of the Electoral Commission to “keep engaging all the political parties to ensure that all outstanding electoral issues and grievances are dealt with in the interest of the country.”
GCBC members also urge Ghana’s security agencies to be “very professional in the exercise of their duties in the aftermath of the declaration of the Presidential and Parliamentary results in order to protect life and property.”
“Let us always be mindful of the fact that Ghana is all we have as our homeland and so work to maintain the peace and stability that we have always enjoyed as a nation,” they say and congratulate all “contesting candidates for offering themselves for the service of Ghana.”
The GCBC members implore God to “bless our homeland Ghana and make our nation great and strong!”
In their Advent Pastoral Letter issued ahead of the country’s general elections, Catholic Bishops in Ghana had appealed for peace “before, during and after the December 7, 2020 elections.”
“We also appeal to all political parties, their leaders and supporters and indeed all Ghanaian citizens to live in peace and refrain from all activities that can disturb the peace of our dear nation before, during and after the elections,” they said in their November 29 collective statement.
They went on to urge Ghanaians to “work together to build one country” after the election.
“We should not expect everything from those who govern us, but must welcome our common responsibilities in working together as one people to develop our beloved country,” GCBC said in their November 29 Advent Pastoral Letter.
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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.
Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa