Speaking at the peace signing ceremony in Accra on Friday December 4, Mr Mahama who is also the presidential candidate for the National Democratic Congress (NDC) said : “The military siege of the Volta Region and other locations during the registration exercise created an intimidatory atmosphere akin to a nation at war.
“But we are optimistic. In the face of similar doubts in the past, Ghanaians have risen to the occasion and delivered peaceful elections.
“It is my prayer that despite our deepest fears we shall be proved wrong and Ghana will once again be proven to be the beacon of democracy in Africa.”
Below is his full speech …
As we end our campaigns tomorrow and prepare to vote on Monday, I pledge to ensure peace and preserve the stability of our dear nation.
Elections are about counting heads not cutting heads. And so we will work towards peace.
I urge the security agencies, voters and all stakeholders to ensure law and order. We expect to see all security personnel deployed for the elections to be in uniform and with visible name tags.
Let us strive to prevent the violence of the past, particularly as witnessed in early2019 during the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye elections, which till date has gone unpunished.
Ladies and gentlemen, our country stands at a critical juncture of history. Never have the lives of so many depended on the power of a thumb. Now more than ever, we need the institutions of our democracy to work impartially to deliver an outcome that is fair, transparent and in the National Interest.
The Electoral Commission, the Judiciary, the Security Services and the media hold the future of our nation in their hands.
The United States of America has set an example for us, where institutions of democracy have upheld the constitution despite severe verbal and legal assaults by a losing incumbent.
Will our institutions perform the same in the face of a similar situation? Recent events under the current President have given many anxious moments of doubt about this administration’s ability to deliver a peaceful, violence free election.
The events of Ayawaso West Wuogon are fresh in our minds. The administration’s refusal to sanction persons involved in assaulting an
Honourable Member of Parliament and injuring scores of people remain one of the darkest days in our democratic history.
Reckless remarks by leading members of the ruling party that the unfortunate events of Ayawaso West Wuogun were just a dress rehearsal for the actual election, do not inspire confidence for the delivery of a peaceful election.
A subsequent intervention by the Peace Council led to the two leading parties signing an agreement of twenty-two (22) deliverables. Of these 22 deliverables, eighteen (18) were dependent on government.
As far as I am aware, the government has failed to sign the agreement. The loss of three lives in the course of a regular voter registration exercise also gives cause for worry.
The military siege of the Volta Region and other locations during the registration exercise created an intimidatory atmosphere akin to a nation at war. But we are optimistic. In the face of similar doubts in the past, Ghanaians have risen to the occasion and delivered peaceful elections.
It is my prayer that despite our deepest fears we shall be proved wrong and Ghana will once again be proven to be the beacon of democracy in Africa.
We have done it before, and we can do it again! Let us on Monday exorcize the ghost of Ayawaso West Wuogon.
I am John Dramani Mahama and I stand for peace. Let there be peace in Ghana before, during and after the elections.
By Laud Nartey|3news.com|Ghana