By Edward Williams, GNA
Jasikan (O/R), Oct. 11, GNA –The National Peace Council (NPC) has engaged political parties, state institutions, and other key stakeholders on a roadmap to end political vigilantism in Ghana.
The participants, drawn from the Buem, Biakoye, and Akan constituencies in the Oti region were also taken through the code of conduct for political parties as well as the vigilantism and related offenses ACT 999.
Reverend Seth K Mawutor, Chairman, Volta Regional Peace Council (VRPC), said the Peace Council had a mandate to make sure it prevented violence or conflict, manage and be able to resolve any if surfaced.
He said the workshop was to enable the Council to deliberate with key stakeholders on how best they could help preserve the peace in the country before, during, and after the 2020 general elections.
Rev Mawutor said the engagement was also to make sure that all the stakeholders were able to play their roles effectively for the country to remain in peace.
He urged participants to fully participate in ensuring preventive measures that would be identified.
Mr Gregory Tonozie, a representative of Mr Lawrence Kwami Aziale, the Jasikan District Chief Executive (DCE), said peace had no substitute and the peace of the nation and the District was paramount.
He commended the National Peace Council for organising the workshop to ensure that peace prevailed in the country and pledged to do his best to support the peace agenda.
The DCE said the development of the nation depended largely on the peace and stability of the nation and called on stakeholders to collaborate to make sure that the right channels were followed as well as resolving issues amicably.
Superintendent Lawrence Gbele, Jasikan District Police Commander, said issues of vigilantism was a difficult one for the Service and the promulgation of the Act, would go a long way to empower them to eradicate such issues.
Mr Frank Wilson Bodzi, Deputy Director, Conflict Management and Resolution, said political parties had committed to disband vigilante groups operating for political purposes as well as broaden participation to include relevant stakeholders.
He noted that mistrust between political parties, mistrust of security agencies and Electoral Commission, political patronage, rent-seeking, and the ‘winner-takes- it all” were some causes of political party violence.
Madam Rita Benewah Yali, a Deputy Director, National Peace Council disclosed that measures had been put in place to ensure the implementation and enforcement of the code of conduct for political parties to the latter.
Mr David Normanyo, Regional Executive Secretary, Volta, said to prohibit vigilante groups and activities, a person shall not directly or indirectly, form, organize, operate; or promote the formation, organization, operation, or activities of a vigilante group.
He said political parties as well as land guards were also barred from organizing, promoting, or operating vigilante groups and engaging their services.
Participants expressed gratitude to the NPC for the engagement and promised to ensure a peaceful environment before, during, and after the general elections.
The workshop was sponsored by Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA)