Mrs Janet Saney-Kuma, Director, National Peace Council (NPC) has said the responsibility of ensuring peaceful elections this year is on all Ghanaians especially political parties.
She said all hands must be on deck to eliminate political vigilantism, which she described as a growing threat to peace and security in Ghana.
“Incidents of violence witnessed in the just ended mass voter registration exercise is a worry to us and many.”
Mrs Saney-Kuma who made the call during her presentation at a day’s advocacy workshop on the eradication of vigilantism at Keta organised by the NPC with funding support from the Danish Government (DANIDA) said the nation could not rely on political actors only for peace.
She said though a code of conduct for political parties was designed as one of the key deliverables of the dialogue between National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) and other relevant stakeholders following the infamous Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence in 2019, acts of violence still prevailed on the political scene and in the country.
“Vigilantism in Ghana transcends electoral violence and so we must all get involved in sustaining the peace in the country. There’s the code of conduct and there also is the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act (Act 999) which we must all get to understand the basics and be ambassadors of peace.”
Mr David Normanyo, Volta Regional Executive Secretary of NPC stressed on the punishment terms for perpetrators of vigilante crimes to encourage NDC and NPP, the most culprits, to caution their members not to act in contravention of the Law.
The workshop, which had representatives from political parties, local assemblies, Electoral Commission, National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the security drawn from Anlo, Keta and Ketu South constituencies recommended ways to deal with the phenomenon.
The participants suggested resourcing the NCCE to carry out public education on the Act, application of fairness in enforcing vigilante crimes regardless of persons involved and incorporating the study of vigilantism in the school curriculum for basic schools.
They also called on the government to stop interfering in the works of the security and abusing incumbency to recruit party persons with questionable characters into the state security agencies among others.