The Sunyani Municipal Chief Executive, Mrs Justina Owusu-Banahene, has called on the public to support the initiative of the National Peace Council (NPC) to disband vigilante groups to sustain the peace in the country.
That, she said, would require public education, politicians avoiding violence and engaging the youth in unacceptable conduct such as physical assault, riots, intimidations, threats, harassment and destruction of properties to win political power.
“We should not all forget that political parties will remain political parties only when Ghana continues to remain a peaceful Ghana, for political parties will come and go but Ghanaians will remain Ghanaians”, she stated.
She made the call at the opening session of a two-day sensitisation workshop on the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (Act 999) organised by the NPC in Sunyani.
The workshop, which is being attended by leadership of the various political parties, security services and civil society organisations, is aimed at sensitising the participants to the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (Act 999) and the NPC’s Roadmap and Code of Conduct on political parties in ensuring violence-free elections.
Mrs Owusu-Banahene, therefore, urged the youth not to be lured into vigilante groups nor allow politicians to use them as tools to create unnecessary misunderstanding and tensions that could trigger political violence in the electioneering.
She lauded the NPC’s commitment towards sustaining and deepening the prevailing peace and stability in the country.
Lack of co-operation
The Executive Secretary of the NPC in charge of the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo regions, Alhaji Suallah Abdallah Quandah, said the lack of co-operation from political actors to solve political violence was impeding the progress of the council in solving political impasses in those regions.
He said the NPC was not getting the maximum co-operation from political parties when it came to availing and given accurate information that could lead to the resolution or preventing political violence.
Alhaji Quandah, therefore, called on the various political parties to cooperate with the council to build and maintain peace before, during and after the December polls.
In a speech read on his behalf, the Chairman of the Bono, Bono East and Ahafo Peace Council, Reverend Father William Kyere, called for commitment on the part of security agencies, political parties and religious bodies to win the fight against political violence.
He said the political space in recent times had been characterised with violence and intemperate language which were not healthy for the democracy and development of the country.
He said there was no single political activity that was organised in the country without pockets of political party sponsored violence and mentioned Sankore in Asunafo South in the Ahafo Region and Banda in the Bono Region.