Nigeria’s former president, Olusegun Obasanjo, has written to Ghana’s major political parties, soliciting for a peaceful conduct of its December 7 general elections.
In his three-page letter released on Saturday, Obasanjo also mourned the demise of a former president of the country, Jerry Rawlings.
He also emphasised on the need for peaceful electioneering for the country’s stability.
Just as the PDP and APC rule Nigeria’s political space, so has the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) been dominating Ghana’s political contests since its return to civilian rule in 1992.
Situating his reasons within the above reality and peculiarities of elections in the African continent, Obasanjo tasked the two parties to ensure a violence-free election irrespective of provocations from either camp.
“I write to you, leaders of the two main political parties in Ghana, to urge you to do all you can to ensure a peaceful conduct of the general elections. My concern about the elections in Ghana is not only as an African but also because of our shared colonial history, our anthropological background and the fact that I began my military career from Teshie, Ghana, and without that I would perhaps not have been what I am today.
“As leaders of the two main political parties, this is the legacy you have been entrusted to preserve heading into the elections. Your role is unique in that, the NPP and the NDC are the main players, have made significant contributions to the peace and stability of Ghana and are vested with the capacity, influence and control to constructively shape national discussions and processes such as the upcoming elections.
“In this vein, the success or failure of the elections, a key aspect of democratic consolidation in Ghana will largely depend on the posture of the NPP and NDC leadership and how that is manifested by the actions of their supporters,” he said, identifying the country as Africa’s beacon of democracy.
However, despite its peculiar use of harsh language and other common attributes of politics, Nigeria former president adjudged Ghanaian political class as such with “admirably high level of political maturity in handling their differences and ensuring that elections remain issues-based.”
He concluded his three-page letter, urging all stakeholders, most importantly the presidential candidates of the two dominant parties to exhibit spirit of statesmanship irrespective of who emerges victorious in the forthcoming election.