The Greater Accra Region Peace Council (GARPC) has cautioned the youth against participating in any form of political vigilantism before, during and after the 2020 general elections.
Right Reverend Samuel K. Osabutey, Chairman, GARPC, said participating in such act could lead to an imprisonment of 10 to 15 years.
Rt. Rev. Osabutey, who is also the Methodist Diocesan Bishop of Accra, was addressing an “advocacy campaign on the eradication of political vigilantism in Ghana” initiated by the National Peace Council (NPC) with NCCE’s collaboration, in Tema.
He said Act 999, the Vigilantism and Related Offence Act, 2019, barred the public from participating, promoting and shielding vigilantism as well as land guards’ activities and weapon usage.
He therefore urged the youth to acquire the needed knowledge on the Act.
“The youth should be very very careful about those who recruit them to engage in such vigilantism, they need to study the Act because ignorance of the law is no exercise and they can be imprisoned between 10 and 15 years when caught, ”he said.
He said even though some of the youth saw it as their opportunity to make money from politicians, they must remember that the political parties only think about winning power.
He disclosed that his outfit was piloting the advocacy campaign in Ada, Amasaman and Tema.
Rt. Rev. Osabutey said the Peace Council intended to follow-up and incorporate suggestions gathered from the roadmap developed by the participants from the three controlled pilot programmes to expand it.
He said they would meet the Members of Parliament, opinion leaders and other stakeholders to ensure that the message reached everyone, adding however that their representatives together with other stakeholders including the media and Civil Society Organizations were expected to serve as trainers of their members on Act 999.
Madam Lucille Hewlett Annan, Greater Accra Regional Director, NCCE, said the Commission was partnering the National Peace Council in the campaign against vigilantism as was also their responsibility as civic educators.
She asked the media to educate the youth to refrain from flouting the Act and the possibility of creating chaos because of elections.
Mr Felix Mensah Nii Anang-La, Tema Metropolitan Chief Executive, on his part, said the Metropolitan Security Council (MESEC) would ensure a violence-free metropolis before, during and after the December 2020 election.