THE General Manager, Newspapers, of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, has charged members of the Ghana Institute of Management (GIM) to mobilise themselves to the cause of the Electoral Commission (EC) on Election Day.
"As individuals and a group, the time has come to offer yourselves and your services towards the success of the EC's programme for the election."
His call did not only go to members of GIM, but also to opinion leaders, other professionals and respected members of communities and societies, who could offer their services as polling agents and officers to build confidence in the electoral system.
Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh was speaking at a lecture on the topic "Towards Free, Fair, Peaceful 2008 Polls," organised by GIM as part of its annual general meeting (AGM).
He said it would greatly build the confidence of communities across the country if prominent and respected people offered their services to the Electoral Commission (EC) in any capacity and were present at polling stations on election day.
Focusing on the creative and destructive nature of words, he showed from the quotes of several renowned social and political leaders, such as Mother Theresa, the Catholic Nun from India; Dr Martin Luther King, American Civil Rights activists and President Bill Clinton of America, that words play crucial roles to facilitate peaceful elections.
"Every one of us has an obligation in the way we speak or carry ourselves around. We should not gloat or flaunt."
Also crucial, Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh pointed out, is the freedom of choice in a democracy and the fact that democracy is not only about numbers, but also about the respect of rules and regulations.
"Therefore, all those who profess to be democrats must ensure that they never employ cheating, intimidation or coercion to secure the mandate of our people", he advised.
He said democratic systems could not absolutely meet the aspirations of all, and that that was the reason for the choice of people.
Thus, to promote peaceful elections, party leaders have to reason, tolerate divergent opinions and co-operate meaningfully with the EC through the Inter Party Advisory Committee (IPAC).
All party officers, participation in the IPAC meetings have to give of their best and stick to decisions raised there.
He said it was unjust for members to condemn a decision when they came out of IPAC meetings at which all had agreed to a certain position, just because it did not suit them.
He said the neutrality of state institutions had to be maintained, while the media needed to reach the hearts and minds of people to "have a belief in human dignity and the essence of political pluralism through multi-party democracy in reason rather than force."
Membership of GIM was later on conferred on Mr Boadu-Ayeboafoh, who pledged to use his experience to support the institute to enhance the practice of management in the country.
The chairman at the function, Prof. Joseph R. A. Ayee, who is the Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences, highlighting issues raised, said the challenge of having a peaceful election could be surmounted when election rules and regulations were obeyed.
He advocated a review of the current mandate of the EC to enable it to enforce its rules and regulations when abused by stakeholders.
New council members were elected to serve a two-year term.
They were Mr Wisdom A. Gagakuma, President; Flt Lt. F. Adja-Codjoe (retd), 1st Vice-President; Mr J. A. A. Angate, 2nd Vice- President; Mrs Marian S. Duncan, Messrs Kwame Owusu-Edusei, B. A. Sapati, Anthony Minlah and Kojo Amissah, all members.
DAILY GRAPHIC, MONDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2008, PG 21