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Political science lecturer cautions Chiefs against openly endorsing politicians



A senior lecturer at the political science department of the University of Ghana, Dr Seidu Alidu, has cautioned chiefs in the country about their open endorsement of flag-bearers of the various political parties in the country.

Dr Alidu said such open endorsement of political parties has the tendency to create division, disintegration and the loss of trust from the people under their jurisdictions.

He said if the Chiefs don’t understand the constitutional provisions that prohibit them from actively participating in partisan politics, they should seek interpretations from lawyers in order not to be accused by the people they superintendent.

The endorsement of presidential candidates of the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the main Opposition party, New Patriotic Party (NPP), has been common among some chiefs during the candidates visits to their palaces ahead of the December polls.

Some chiefs have even gone to the extent of predicting percentage wins of the flag-bearers without recourse to article 76 of the 1992 constitutions which prohibits chiefs from actively participating in partisan politics.

Commenting on the issues in an interview with Zaa News,  Dr Alidu said the constitutional provisions that guarantee every citizen  the right to participate in the democratic dispensation, participation of which is one of the most fundamental components of the democratic process, restrict some people in society for good reasons.

Dr Alidu told Zaa News in Tamale that, the chiefs superintendent over different people with different ideological, political and ethnic backgrounds for which reason they should restrain themselves.

Politics, he observed, was one of the most divisive that can endangered the achievements of the community and to be able to maintain unity and cohesion in the leadership of the traditional area you govern, the wisdom is that you don’t openly support a specific party or political leader, Dr Alidu observed.

According to him, politicians will definitely pay them a visit at their various palaces because they are the spiritual leaders of the people and chiefs can put their communities problems before them so that when they gain power they can help address those problems.

Dr Alidu who is also a consultant for the National Media Commission (NMC), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the National Peace Council and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), pleaded with the revered chiefs not to meddle in partisan politics.

Advice to media houses and journalists

Dr Alidu who took the journalists through the necessary mechanisms and how to manage information from political parties to be able to report accurately without creating violence during this year’s elections, advised media houses and journalists to be careful about whatever they put out this year.

He said media the actions and in-actions of media houses could plunge Ghana into chaos and there was the need for circumspection. Dr Alidu reminded journalists that in order to set the agenda for peace, there is the need for the media to be visible by networking with other institutions that have the ability to promote peace.

He urged media houses and practitioners in the northern region to trend cautiously with their activities ahead of the December polls. The four bodies observed that promotion of peace, unity, and development relies largely on the media, and urged the various media organizations to be circumspect in their work.

The four bodies have embarked on a regional workshop on the need for peaceful election across the ten regions of Ghana. The workshop was to draw journalists’ attention about the need to exercise a high sense of professionalism, and also what they can also do as major stakeholders to keep the peace.

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