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Rawlings urges media to revise agenda-setting role

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Jerry Rawlings
Jerry Rawlings

Former President Jerry John Rawlings has called on the media to revise their approach towards the agenda-setting role they play in society.

He said the move was critical for an incident-free Supreme Court verdict on the Election 2012 petition hearing.

Speaking at the National Peace Summit organised in Accra on Friday, he cautioned the media to infuse objectivity and truth in their reportage to promote national interest and sustain the peace in the country.

The National Summit was organised by the National Peace Council, the Manhyia Palace, the Civic Forum Initiative and the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG).

It was on the theme: “Justice, Peace and Reforms will Strengthen Ghana”.

Mr Rawlings also cautioned political parties, particularly those involved in the election petition, to train their supporters on the judicial processes involved in the election petition and to accept the outcome of the judicial hearing.

He said the weakness of Ghana’s politicking was the attitude that some political parties had adopted to win elections at all cost.

Mr Rawlings said such a rigid stance was dangerous.

He called on the citizenry not to use internet chat rooms and other social media platforms to launch attacks on political opponents, adding that the act was a bane to peace.

Mr Rawlings commended the Supreme Court judges for their enviable composure throughout the hearing process.

Justice William Atuguba, President of the Supreme Court Panel, received a special attention and praise from Mr Rawlings as he commended the judge for his humorous interlude, which cooled down the political high temperature that characterized the judicial hearing.

It has been a 46-day election petition hearing filed by three petitioners, Nana Akuffo Addo, the Presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), his running mate, Dr Mahamudu  Bawumia and Jake Obetsebi Lamptey, NPP Chairman.

The three petitioners are praying the Supreme Court to overturn the results declared by Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan, Chairman of the Electoral Commission making President John Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) the winner of the 2012 presidential poll.

The Election Petition hearing began on 16th April 2013.

Former President John Agyekum Kufuor, in a speech read on his behalf, called on Ghanaians to pray for the justices of the Supreme Court hearing the election petition so as to be guided by divine providence to adjudicate wisely, fairly and with justice.

He reiterated the call on political leaders and their followers to abide by their peace pledges.

Naa Professor John Nabila, President of the National House of Chiefs, called on chiefs and other traditional rulers to contribute their quota towards the peace process.

There were peace pledges from the various political parties.

Participants at the summit signed onto the National Summit Outcome Document, a resolution for peace, and were spotted waving their miniature flags amidst applause after the event.

The summit was well patronised by representations from parliament, political parties, members of the diplomatic corps and civil society groups.

Source: GNA

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