Political Vigilantism

The Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), has urged the government and all stakeholders to adopt a zero tolerance for electoral violence before, during and after the upcoming December 7 general election.

Mrs Theodora W. Anti, Programmes Manager, FOSDA, in a statement copied to the Ghana News Agency, said the Foundation’s call was in connection with the commemoration of this Year’s International Peace Day being celebrated on the theme “Shaping Peace Together”.

“We call on the Government, the security agencies, the National Peace Council, political parties, the Media, citizens and all stakeholders to adopt a zero tolerance to electoral violence stance towards the upcoming election to ensure peaceful elections come December 2020,” she said.

“It is important that all stakeholders led by the Government adopt measures that would send strong signal to all, that violence acts and conducts will not be tolerated in the upcoming elections.”

Mrs Anti said FOSDA acknowledges that most of the drivers of electoral violence are structural and need long term measures to address them, such as unemployment.

“However, it is crucial that the government put in place measures to ensure peace in the upcoming elections.”

She said the Foundation also called on all political parties especially the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to disband their vigilante groups and discourage groups that were playing such roles.

“We encourage the parties to adopt peaceful means of addressing issues of conflict that may arise,” she said.
“We urge the Security agencies to provide fair protection and services to all political parties as well as enforce all relevant laws without fear or favour.”

She noted that FOSDA was also calling on the Media to be vigilant and not allow political parties or any group of persons to use their platforms to foment violent situations.

She said the Electoral Commission (EC) must provide a fair play ground for all political parties and actors to ensure peaceful resolutions of all issues.

She said the EC must be proactive in identifying and addressing challenges that are likely to increase tensions and engender violence.

Mrs Anti said urged the citizens to conduct themselves peacefully and work with the security agencies to promote peace before, during and after the up-coming elections.

“We all have a responsibility to safeguard the peace of Ghana. Let us shape it together. Let us adopt a zero tolerance for electoral violence.”

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