Sound Political Environment Needed to Disband Vigilantism in Ghana

Political Vigilantism

The Civic Forum Initiative has fully endorsed the President’s call for a political dialogue between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to disband political vigilantism.

It has, therefore, urged government to initiate the dialogue as soon as possible to restore public confidence.

Dr Mrs Angela Dwamena Aboagye, the Executive Director of the Ark Foundation, and a member of the CFI Steering Committee, addressed the media in Accra on Tuesday on behalf of the Forum.

She said the process would require technical facilitation and mediation that could bring the two parties to bilateral talks.

“We believe that Civil Society Organisations with competence, integrity and proven track records could engage to support this process,” Dr Dwamena Aboagye noted.

Dr Aboagye said the process was a way to deal with the mutual mistrust and find an enduring and amicable solution to the recurring threat to Ghana’s democracy, peace and security.

“We urge that the right environment should be created as a matter of urgency to enable preparation towards the dialogue to begin in earnest,” she noted.

The Forum appealed to the media to be circumspect in contributing to the creation of the atmosphere by exercising restraint in their public discourse, especially in these sensitive times.

Dr Dwamena Aboagye called on the NDC and NPP to demonstrate good faith towards the dialogue by formally disassociating themselves from political vigilantes and recommitting to the fight against electoral violence, impunity and injustice.

The parties, she said, should also desist from publications of their correspondence with the President and among themselves in the media to ensure an enabling environment for the discourse.

“Failure to do this would affect the stability of our democracy, peace and security, most especially, as the country approaches the 2020 elections,” she said.

The violence that occurred at the La-Bawaleshie Polling Centre during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on Jannuary 31, led to public outcry for intensified action towards disbanding political militias.

President Akufo-Addo, in response, set-up the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry and called for political dialogue between the two main political parties.

Other dignitories at the programme were Major General Nii Carl Coleman (RTD), Chairman of CFI and some members including Ambassador Francis Tsegah of CDD/CODEO, Rev. Emmanuel T. Barrigah of the Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council, Mr Emmanuel Akwetey and Mr Kwesi Jonah both of IDEG and Alhaji Mamah Gadoh, office of the Chief Imam.

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