Political vigilantism undermines the nation’s drive towards democratic maturity-Peace Council
The Greater Accra Regional Peace Council has called on individuals and groups who use violence as means to resolve their differences to cease, pointing out that such actions of political vigilante groups undermine the nation’s drive towards democratic maturity.
In a speech, Rt. Rev. Samuel K. Osabutey, Chairman of the council, said violent expression of views is usually exhibited along with a wide range of issues including political, ideological, religious, socio-economic and gender relations with enormous complexity which poses threat to peace.
He said this during an engagement between the Peace Council, NCCE, party leaders, and other stakeholders at Kasseh—Ada on Thursday 13th August on how to eradicate vigilantism in Ghana. The program was funded by the Danish Embassy.
The council indicated that there is an alarming growth in the use of the internet and social media to incite and polarise conflicting parties which in turn leads to party vigilantism, and must be dealt with proactively.
“The council among other things is also required to create and increase awareness of the use of non-violent strategies by parties to prevent, manage and resolve conflict, facilitate the implementation of agreements and resolutions reached between parties in the conflict, promote understanding of the values of diversity, trust, tolerance, confidence building, mediation, negotiation, dialoguing and reconciliation,” Rt. Rev. Osabutey said.
Madam Lucille Hewlett Annan, the Greater Accra Regional Director Of NCCE told Adacommunityonline.com that the negative acts of political vigilantism must be condemned by all, particularly civil societies in an attempt to also pile pressure on governments and state institutions to deal with those who commit offences and run foul of the laws of the land under the guise of political vigilantism.
“It is therefore recommended that state institutions such as the police, military, and all security apparatus should not only be well equipped but must be encouraged by regime heads and political leaders to deal rigorously with all forms of the threat posed by vigilante groups without fear or favour,” she opined.
“Our peace of mind can be only guaranteed if we all behave as expected and those who flout the law be made to face it,” Madam Annan added.
The political leaders present at the one-day event acknowledged enlightenment on the procedures of ensuring political vigilantism-free campaign period before, during, and after the December 7 polls.