Dr. Emmanuel Akwetey, the Executive Director of the Institute of Democratic Governance (IDEG), has taken a swipe at Kwesi Pratt Jnr, the editor of the Insight newspaper for playing down on the Kumasi peace declaration that saw eight political parties commit to a peaceful election.
Commenting on the significance of the Kumasi peace pact on Tuesday, Mr. Pratt told Paul Adom Otchere on Decision 2012 on Joy FM that the country must go beyond merely signing a piece of paper if it wants to guarantee peaceful election.
He said it was nice to see the eight political party leaders shake hands and smile at each other but that that alone will not guarantee peace in the 2012 election.
He called for the parties to obey the laws of the country and for the security services to apply the rules vigorously.
“Everybody can go to Kumasi to sign a piece of paper. If we don’t work on the basis of the law; if the security services do not act professionally; if the EC is not unbiased and so on, it is difficult to guarantee peace,” he said.
Dr. Akwetey, whose organisation coordinated the Kumasi declaration, did not appear to see Pratt’s comments as complimentary. He therefore sent a text message to the programme criticizing what he said were contradictory comments by Pratt.
He stated in the message, which host Otchere read aloud, that Pratt cannot play down the significance of the Kumasi declaration and then proceed to endorse the rule of law message that the candidates endorsed at the signing.
Pratt responded, “there is no contradiction in what I said. The contradiction exists only in the imagination of Dr. Akwetey.”
He said it is understandable for Dr. Akwetey to defend IDEG and the Kumasi declaration because as a part of the Institute, he helped organize the event, but that speaking realistically, the pact alone cannot guarantee peace.
Akwetey then called into the show to express his disappointment over Pratt’s comments.
“Kwesi Pratt sometimes behaves as if he is the only wise man in Ghana and thinks over and above everybody,” he said.
“How can anybody organize such an event just for the niceties of it?... He clearly contradicted himself when he started by saying the peace movement has become an industry and people go in to butter their bread.”
He indicated that the Kumasi declaration served only to “reaffirm the capacity of Ghana to organize a peaceful election” and to give the leaders a platform to take a clear stand against violence.
He told Mr. Pratt that, “we must be ready to respect each other in a growing democracy.”