Traditional leaders in the Northern region have been urged to use their leadership roles and governance structures to help prevent political vigilantism among residents before, during and after the December 7 general elections.
Alhaji Abdul Razak Saani, the Northern Regional Director of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), said Chiefs and Elders should not intervene for people who went against the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019, but they should help to bring such individuals to book.
He said this when the NCCE in partnership with NORSAAC, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), presented a copy of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (ACT 999), to Gulkpe Naa Alhassan Abdulai, the Paramount Chief of Tamale.
The presentation formed part of the NORSAAC’s “Decent Elections 2020” Project, aimed at contributing to the effective implementation of Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 as well as the roadmap and code of conduct to end political vigilantism for peaceful election in 2020.
It is being implemented by a consortium including Sagani TV, with funding support from the STAR-Ghana Foundation.
“We are urging the Chiefs not to intercede on behalf of anyone who goes against the law because it undermines democracy. We want them to know that the law is there and anybody whose actions are found to be a threat of violence in the interest of a political party will be dealt with”, he said.
Alhaji Saani encouraged traditional rulers to help observe violent-free elections, adding that they should ensure the enforcement of the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019.
Gulkpe Naa, Alhassan Abdulai, expressed gratitude to the organizations for the initiative and said they would uphold the law to ensure an end to political vigilantism in the region and the country as a whole.
He appealed to political parties in the country to disband any vigilante group they had formed to guarantee peace before, during and after the 2020 elections.