By Kayode Fasua
As Ghana prepares for its general elections on December 7, Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has appealed to the two major contending parties in the poll, to show tolerance and abstain from conducts capable of discrediting the exercise.
The former president, in a letter to the Ghanaian parties particularly prodded both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), being the leading parties, to ensure peaceful, credible and transparent general elections.
Obasanjo, a former chairman of the African Union (AU), also observed that a rancour-free election in Ghana would help ensure the peace and stability of the West African country.
In the missive, the former president equally enjoined the contending parties not to view each other as “political enemy” but as “political opponent”.
“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 construct and shape national discussions and processes such as the upcoming elections,” he admonished.
He prayed and wished that the country should be a winner irrespective of the party that wins the election, noting that, with his humble voice, the region and the continent would count on their patriotism during and after the election.
He also commiserated with the Ghanaian nation on the death of former President Jerry Rawlings, describing his passage as not only a big loss to Ghana and the African continent, but also to him, being a “friend and ‘ ‘younger brother'”.