The Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Council (GPCC) has condemned the recent clashes near the residence of the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) presidential candidate at Nima, and the violence in the Odododiodio constituency, where firearms were used in both cases.
“We are really worried that things could get out of hands if the Ghana Police Service does not take immediate and decisive steps to prevent any potential escalation of such violence in other parts of the country ahead of the elections.”
A press statement signed by Apostle Samuel Y. Antwi, the General Secretary of the GPCC, called for a preventive approach to these emerging forms of violence ahead of the elections.
It said it was the opinion of the GPCC that the National Elections Security Task Force should with immediate effect convene a meeting of the leadership of all participating political parties in the Elections 2016 to dialogue and commit themselves to the rules.
The statement said while the council would be the last to propose any solution that may appear to suggest a curtailment of individuals’ and political parties’ rights and freedoms to lawful assembly and political participation, the recent “health walk” enthusiasm needs stringent regulations within the confines of the law, in order to prevent opposing parties organising processions that have the potential to provoke their opponents.
The GPCC also called on the Inspector General of Police and personnel of the Ghana Police Service to be decisive and impartial in all their dealings with all political parties, in order to instil confidence among Ghanaians and to allay the fears and perception of bias by a section of the population.
It said the Council believed that maintaining peace and security was a shared responsibility by all, and called on the leadership of the political parties, particularly, President John Dramani Mahama, and Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, as a matter of urgency, to show true leadership by not only openly condemning the actions of their supporters, but call them to order.
It said while it was unacceptable for any individual or group to prevent the police from carrying its lawful duties, including accessing crime scenes to carry out its investigations, it was equally worrying for ultimatum and threats to be issued to the police to do the bidding of any political party.
The GPCC advised Ghanaians to be mindful of the fact that “we have only one Ghana to live in with nowhere else to go in the event of any escalated violence”.
The Council urged all Ghanaians to be prudent and act responsibly to maintain the peace and security of the country.