ELECTION 2020: "Let’s Count Ballots, Not Bullets’ – Small Arms Commission
The Executive Secretary of the Small Arms Commission has appealed to politicians to ensure that ballots are counted in the elections and not bullets.
Jones Applerh urged them to be measured in their language and the electioneering to ensure they did not incite anyone into violence to trigger the use of guns. Mr. Applerh said this during the “Ballots without Bullets” campaign in the Jirapa Municipality of the Upper West Region.
“Ballots without Bullets” is a campaign being championed by the Small Arms Commission to get parliamentary candidates of hot-spot constituencies to publicly pledge their commitment to peace and urge their supporters to follow suit.
Mr Applerh said the campaign was born out of the violence associated with elections in developing countries, particularly in Africa.
Ghana won the reputation as the beacon of democracy in Africa and in the Africa Peace Index, she ranked number one in West Africa and number three in the whole of Africa, he said.
“This is a reputation we don’t want to lose and so judging from what we saw during the registration; the confusion and the gun incidents, we decided as a Commission, who contribute to peace, safety and public security through the controlling of the proliferation of small arms, to get to these constituencies for the candidates themselves to publicly commit to peace and urge their supporters to follow suit,” Mr Aplerh said. He encouraged politicians to endeavour to solve conflicts peacefully, without the use of guns, adding; “we don’t want guns at all in this election.”
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) parliamentary candidate for Jirapa, Mr Cletus Seidu Dapilah, pledged his commitment to ensuring peace before, during and after the December 7 polls.
“I’m urging all my supporters and sympathizers that they should not fight anybody – if you are provoked, report to the appropriate authorities,” he said.
Mr Dapilah said he was once the Jirapa District Chief Executive and his opponent was also an Independent Member of Parliament for the area, saying that gave them the leverage to campaign peacefully on ideas and track record.
The Regional Police Command and the Electoral Commission both indicated their preparedness to deliver on their mandate and discharge their duties fairly and professionally to contribute to peace in the coming elections.