The signing of two main contenders for this year’s presidential election, President Akufo-Addo of the NPP and former President John Dramani Mahama of the NDC, to commit them and their parties and supporters to non-violence, the resort to judicial process to seek redress in case of disputes and work towards eradicating vigilantism is the trending story in Ghanaian press on Friday.The Graphic reports that the two main contenders for this year’s presidential election, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and former President John Dramani Mahama of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), will sign the Presidential Elections Peace Pact (PEPP) today to commit them and their parties and supporters to non-violence, the resort to judicial process to seek redress in case of disputes and work towards eradicating vigilantism.
The PEPP process is being convened by the National Peace Council (NPC), the Office of the National Chief Imam, the National House of Chiefs and the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG).
The Graphic Communications Group Limited and the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation are the media partners for the programme.
The signing event this morning will be on the theme: “Eradicating electoral violence in Ghana’s democracy: the role of political leadership”.
Peace pacts were signed before the 2012 and 2016 elections, and the signatories committed themselves to working together to tackle electoral violence, impunity and injustice.
However, it was the 2016 peace pact that triggered the implementation of the 2020 commitment regarding the eradication of vigilantism.
The newspaper says that the Upper East Regional branch of the Coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Governance and Security has called on the Electoral Commission, political parties, the media, government and other stakeholders in the region to rededicate themselves to ensuring peace before, during and after the December polls.
It observed that the region was saddled with a myriad of challenges among which include diseases, conflict hotspots, unfavourable climatic conditions and poverty hence there was the need to channel energies into resolving those issues rather than causing Electoral disputes.
A statement signed and issued at Bolgatanga on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 by the Upper East Regional Coordinator of the Coalition of CSOs in Governance and Security, Mr Philip Ayamba further appealed to all Presidential and Parliamentary candidates to let their campaigns focus on issues instead of attacking personalities.
“As a deprived Region, the citizens are eager to listen to messages that will contribute to turning things around and tapping on the vast potentials of the Region for better living conditions of the inhabitants,” it stated.
The statement further pointed out that a peaceful environment to enable the region fight the above-stated enemies of the Region “was highly indispensable and should therefore be pursued vigorously by all stake holders as we get closer to December 7 and beyond”.
The Graphic also reports that the Ghana Statistical Service (GSS) is to train about 75,000 field officers to collect data for the 2021 Population and Housing Census scheduled for April/May 2021.
The training will be in January 2021 and will take place in 1500 training centres in each of the 261 administrative districts in the country.
A statement issued by the GSS said that the training centres would be located in the facilities of the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the universities.
According to the statement, the training will be held when schools are in session so the Service was collaborating with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to ensure that the training as well as classes for the school children are not disrupted.
It explained that the GSS had in the past relied on the facilities of the GES and the universities to train their field officers for the census, and explained that this was done when the schools had vacated.
The Times says that the Customs Division of the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) has advised shippers to pay the duties on their consignments in person at designated banks to avoid being scammed by some “unscrupulous” clearing agents.
According to Assistant Commissioner in charge of the Accra Collection of Customs, Emmanuel Ohene, the practice would reduce the incidence of fraud and restore good image of the customs house agency profession as well as that of the GRA.
Speaking on Eye on Port programme, he said: “Once your agent provides you with the tax bill you are in the position to pay the duty at any participating bank or through the new platform, ghana.gov payment platform which has been introduced by the government in recent times.”
He said the ICUMS allows importers the flexibility to pay their own duties and they are not obliged to necessarily hand over monies to clearing agents for the payment of import duties.
He also advised importers to demand for the original invoices from the other agencies and service providers within the port clearance chain so they do not pay overwhelmingly above the right figures, which is commonplace when they deal with some clearing agents.