The calls for tolerance and non-violence is just, in that it promotes humane action and a sense of appreciation of our human diversity. UNESCO’s role in instituting this day in 1995 is still relevant as the Day (November 16) seeks to deepen human bonds, through understanding, dialogue and knowledge. The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) is delighted to join the world mark the 2020 International Day of Tolerance at this crucial time that Ghana is preparing towards elections.
World Tolerance Day which aims at essentially strengthening tolerance by fostering mutual understanding among different cultures, tribes, and people to move beyond conflict, clearly ties into the efforts of the NCCE to work with stakeholders to ensure violent free elections on Monday, December 7, 2020.
All over the world, tolerance is largely recognised as the understanding and respect for universal human rights and the fundamental freedoms of others. The NCCE in commemorating this day acknowledges the fact that human diversity is a unique resource to be harnessed for development. The Commission, in sharing this thought, is not oblivious of the rich human and cultural diversity of the Ghanaian society, which we still need to harness through tolerance, mutual understanding, respect, and forbearance with each other.
While condemning the recent clashes and pockets of violence in some parts of the country, the Commission states its commitment to increase awareness creation activities to reduce intolerance in our body politic. Article 41(d) of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana strongly entreats Ghanaians “to respect the rights, freedoms and legitimate interests of others, and generally to refrain from doing acts detrimental to the welfare of other persons”. Likewise, Article 35 (9) also tasks the State to promote the culture of political tolerance, which has further been strengthened by the passage of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (Act 999).
In the same vein, the NCCE has over the years utilised the Inter-Party Dialogue Committees (IPDC) platforms in every district to promote tolerance among political actors. However, with the spikes in recent political attacks, the NCCE reminds Ghanaians to nurture a culture of political tolerance. Tolerance is not only a moral duty for us to imbibe but a political and legal requirement for every citizen, group, and the state to uphold.
As we prepare to vote in the Presidential and Parliamentary elections on December 7, 2020, NCCE urges every citizen to stay engaged; participate in political activities, pay attention to issues and exercise restraint in all discourse during these times. The Commission reminds Ghanaians that tolerance is an act of humanity, which we must nurture and enact in our daily lives, even as we celebrate our diversity and values that bind us together as one people with a common destiny. To preserve Ghana’s peace, the NCCE reiterates our call on the citizenry to reject politicians who incite violence.
Joyce Afutu (Mrs)
(Director, Communications and Corporate Affairs)