DON’T USE VIOLENCE TO ADDRESS GRIEVANCE

DECENTRALISATION has taken root in Ghana with the creation of more district assemblies and sub-metros to bring local governance to the grassroots to increase community participation in the decision making.

The creation of more assemblies to take care of the aspirations and needs of the citizenry has also brought in its wake challenges of where to site district capitals.

The Ghanaian Times believe the decision over the locations of district capitals was arrived after  painstaking consultations with all the stakeholders in those areas.

It is, therefore, worrying that members of some communities have resorted to acts of violence and vandalism that characterised the process of location or relocation of district capitals.

The recent acts of violence and vandalism exhibited by a group in Foase in the Ashanti Region, over an attempt by the District Chief Executive to implement the decision of the court to relocate the district capital of the Atwima Kwanwoma District Assembly from Foase to Twedie is an example..

One person was reported dead after the police purportedly fired warning shots to disperse the youth who had locked up the District Chief Executive and deflated the tyre of his official vehicle.

Inasmuch as we condemn this act of violence, we are also of the opinion that there might have been communication gap between the political heads and the youth.

Certainly, the people of the area might not have been well sensitised about the decision to relocate the district capital.

Similarly are picking up another signal from a group calling itself Concerned Youth Association of Binduri, in the Upper East Region, warning at a press conference of bloodshed over attempt to relocate the Binduri Assembly office from Binguri to Binduri-Natinga.

Hear  the venom the youth are spewing:  “…they are treading dangerously on warpath and given the volatile nature of the Bawku traditional area, if this evil agenda of disturbing the peace of Binduri is not stopped, the government will have itself to blame as law and order may break loose leading to chaos and insecurity.”

These are certainly harsh words and uncalled for. We have embraced democracy underpinned by the rule of law. Warning of bloodshed is at variance with our democratic cherished value of rule of law.

Clearly, the Regional Minister, Rockson Bukari, has dissociated himself from any machination in the location of the district capital and that it is a directive from the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, following an Accra High Court ruling.

We reckon that the grievance resolution channels are available to those who feel aggrieved and we hope that they exhaust it and not take the law into their own hands or to resort to violence or threat of violence. Enough of this violence; they are unnecessary when the rule of law is at work!

We urge the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development and the Parliamentary Committee on Local Government and Rural Development to undertake outreach programmes to these flashpoints to engage the chiefs, opinion leaders and youth leaders to find lasting solution to these problems.

Our appeal to the youth and other aggrieved parties is simple:  Respect the ruling of the law courts, exhaust all the channels of grievance resolution and do not resort to violence!

 

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