The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), has commended the National Peace Council’s (NPC) recommendations to the security agencies, the Electoral Commission (EC), political parties and other key stakeholders in the electoral process, after the 2020 registration exercise.
A statement issued by Mrs Theodora Anti, Programmes Manager, FOSDA, which was copied to the Ghana News Agency, described the Peace Council’s recommendations as a step in the right direction in promoting a peaceful atmosphere before, during and after the impending Ghana 2020 elections.
“We particularly support the call of the Peace Council to the Ghana Police Service, especially the Inspector General of Police to ‘expedite actions regarding the investigation into all the criminal matters which came up during the registration exercise’,” it said.
“All perpetrators of the said crime must be brought to book within the shortest possible time.”
According to the Foundation, the cases of violence reported during the registration exercise, leading to the death of two citizens was unacceptable.
It said by all standards, Ghana had matured as a democratic state and such acts of intolerance and violence as displayed during the just-ended voter registration exercise did not only dent the image of the country, but also derailed the peace and political stability.
It said the recorded violent cases during the registration exercise though, relatively minimal posed a threat to the December 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary elections, if the Ghana police did not move swiftly to bring finality to those cases.
“A swift action is critical to deter others from repeating similar actions and also to prevent reprisal attacks. It is important that going into the 2020 elections, the police are seen as independent, acting fairly and promptly,” the statement said.
“We therefore, endorse the suggestion of the Peace council for the Ghana Police Service to establish a platform through which it can regularly inform and update citizens on security issues especially pertaining to the elections.”
It noted that such a platform would deter violence and criminal activities before, during and after the elections, and it would also promote transparency and trust in the Police.
“We entreat the Ghana Police service not to write this suggestion aside but strongly consider it.
“We also call on the Ghana Police Service to strictly enforce all relevant laws, especially the recently passed Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019 (ACT 999).”We are convinced that a strict enforcement of this law and other relevant laws will go a long way to minimise violence in the December 2020 elections.”
It said, the Foundation was urging the leaders of all the political parties especially, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to encourage their members and followers to conduct themselves peacefully and avoid hate speech.