Political Vigilantism

Mr Iain Walker, British High Commissioner to Ghana, has charged Muslim youth to resist any attempt by politicians to engage them to foment trouble in the upcoming December elections.

He said Ghana was considered as the ‘beacon of hope’ on the African continent because of its democratic credentials and it was important for all to work to guard and maintain its status.

“Here in Ghana, there is a strong understanding of democracy”, he told a workshop on addressing political vigilantism and other related offences for some Zongo youth in the Asawase constituency, in Kumasi on Friday.

It was organized by the Muslim Family Counsel and Star Ghana Foundation, in collaboration with the UK Aid and the European Union.

Mr Walker said Muslim youth have often been associated with violence during elections and it was time they removed that tag and disengage themselves from violence and political conflicts.

Sultan Umar Farouk Saeed, Sarkin Zongo, in an address read for him pointed out that politicians often target youth in Zongo communities for election-related violence and gave them nothing in return after elections.

He stressed the need for the youth in Zongo communities to identify the roles they could play to sustain the peace and harmony to promote development in their communities.

Sultan Saeed appealed to UK Aid to help support the training of Muslim youth especially, in technical and vocational skills that would engage them profitable and help them to resist negative influences from politicians.

Mr Nicholas Ayensu-Appiah, Grant and Due Diligence Manager of Star Ghana Foundation, advised the youth to realize that the era where politicians brought basic items like rice, oil, and money to entice them to beat people and snatch ballot boxes at polling centres was over.

He said it was high time Zongo youth worked to clear the violence tag that was associated with them.

Mr Ayensu-Appiah called on Imams, Chiefs and other opinion leaders in Zongo communities to lead the campaign to encourage the youth to resist all forms of political vigilantism in the run-up to the December 07 general elections and maintain peace in their communities.

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