National Commission for Civic Education Chairperson, Ms. Kathleen Addy, has cautioned Ghanaians and the political sphere that vote buying and inducement are significant factors undermining Ghana’s democracy.

In her media briefing addressing various issues in Ghana, including vote buying, Ms. Addy highlighted the presence of notable figures at the event, such as Mr. George Amoo from the National Peace Council, Madam Naa Ayeley, the Public Relations Officer for Trade Union Congress, Apostle Samuel Obuobi, Elder of the Church of Pentecost, and the Spokesperson of the Chief Imam, Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu.

Ms. Addy expressed concern about the escalating monetization of politics, noting that the National Commission for Civic Education had raised the alarm on this issue last year. She pointed out that the supply of money to voters and the demand for money from voters during various elections last year have deepened the problem.

In her address to the media, Ms. Addy stated, “Fellow citizens, this poses an existential threat to our nation and our individual well-being as Ghanaians. It is currently the greatest factor undermining our democracy, creating a system that ensures only the best among us emerge as leaders.”

Emphasizing the impact of excessive money in today’s politics, she argued that it distorts the system in favor of those with financial resources, excluding many otherwise well-qualified citizens from participating in political leadership.

“We are complicit in making financial demands from those who offer themselves for public office. We then become frustrated when they are unable to meet our expectations,” she added.

Ms. Addy warned that the current state of politics has made a candidate’s ability to distribute cash to voters a major criterion for election, urging voters to denounce such practices and work towards ending them.

She stressed that “If we fail to address this issue, it may ultimately be our downfall.”

The Commission also indicated that its goal is to reduce voter apathy and increase citizen participation in this year’s general elections.

This engagement with the media is a component of the activities commemorating Constitution Day, dedicated to celebrating the 1992 constitution that has governed Ghana for the past 31 years. The theme for 2024 is “Together We Can Build Ghana, So Get Involved.”

“Our target is to reduce voter apathy, increase citizen participation, and rally citizens to make informed choices that will work in the collective interest,” stated the NCCE during the press briefing.

They emphasized that successful upcoming elections require a collective high sense of tolerance and responsibility towards every citizen in Ghana. Addressing the significance of the 2024 elections, they underscored the importance of citizens’ involvement, highlighting it as a critical year for all Ghanaians.

The NCCE spokesperson explained their commitment to utilizing allocated resources effectively, emphasizing their dedication to fulfilling their constitutional mandate to the best of their ability.

From the NCCE’s perspective, the 2024 elections will serve as a test case for the country’s political tolerance, religious tolerance, and respect for ethnic and cultural diversities.

They view 2024 as an opportunity to affirm political maturity and urged citizens to persevere despite the challenges faced.

The spokesperson pointed out that the NCCE has collaborated with other peace council stakeholders, including the National Peace Council and religious institutions, to advocate for the message of peace, tolerance, and national cohesion.