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End election predictions; they are heightening tension; women tell pollsters and researchers



The Northern Women for Peace, a group of women traders in northern Ghana have called on pastors, Islamic scholars and researchers/ election pollsters to stop predicting the December 7 elections results even before the mandated state institution, the Electoral Commission did so.

The women said such predictions psyches political activists of various political parties who have little understanding of either scientific and unscientific predictions and that could be a recipe for confusion.

While some are predicting for opposition party of wining the elections, other have predicted that, the governing party of retaining power after December 7.

Some have predicted one-touch victory for the John Mahama-led National Democratic Congress in the December 7 presidential election with 52.4 per cent votes.

“The last two polls between October 16 and November 16, 2016 predicted a victory for in the first round victory for the NDC and President John Mahama and that 9.4% of surveyed voters had doubts about the promises of the New Patriotic Party,”  a pollster, Mr. Ben Ephson explained Tuesday in his analysis of the polls.

Yet another opinion poll, which was released on Monday, projected 45.9 per cent votes for Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who has been tipped by other polls in the last few months to win this year’s elections.

A lecturer at the University of Ghana political science department who also conducted his finding in 24 swing constituencies predicted a win for the New Patriotic Party.

However, these predictions have not gone down well with voters: “The academia and religious predictions was dangerous and must stop,” the women said. “We are pleading with the pastors who are fond of predicting the outcome of the election to try and keep their visions to themselves and stop creating fear and panic among Ghanaians.”

“Enough of the predictions, that practice is heightening unnecessary political tension among voters who are very much concerned about the peace of the country,” the women added, and urged political parties to tone down their language in the few days to the general elections.

The women say the humiliating circumstances and the pain, women, children, the aged and persons living with disabilities go through during times of war, are not something any Ghanaian should wish for, even for their enemies not to dream of experiencing it for any cause.

Addressing a news conference in Tamale, the president of the group, Ms. Sarah Ajara Musah, said the women will continue to campaign strongly for peaceful elections this year.
“We have done so through peace marches and presented our concerns to some of our respected chiefs to keep reminding politicians of the need to protect the prevailing peace and also advise the youth to avoid tendencies that can trigger violent conflicts,” Madam Musah said.

The women’s group said the recent media reports on political clashes, especially between the NPP and NDC supporters give them a cause to worry. The clashes between supporters of the NPP and NDC in the Odododiodio Constituency which left scores of supporters injured and hospitalized, the unfortunate incident near Nima residence of the NPP presidential candidate, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, the political conflict at Nakpayili and Tinangeria both communities in the Wulensi Constituency and the clash at Tampion in the Nanton Constituency, to mention but a few, are not good signs and such ugly incidences must be condemned, the women noted.

“We believe peace is a very necessary ingredient and a precondition for development in every nation. There is no point, therefore, allowing elections to destroy the very ingredient needed for the development of mother Ghana,” the women stated.

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