The Central Regional Peace Council has asked the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to ‘crack the whip’ on Mrs Mavis Hawa Koomson, Member of Parliament for Awutu-Senya East, for firing a gun at a voters’ registration centre at Kasoa, in the region.
The council said, such action by the NPP will instill discipline and serve as deterrent to others.
A statement signed by Mr Matthew Eghan, the Chairman of the Regional Peace Council, expressed worry about pockets of violence that had characterised the ongoing voters registration.
It said the use of intemperate language and violence would undermine the country’s democratic credence, and called for the enforcement of law and discipline to deal with the growing culture of impunity in the country.
The statement reminded the people that “Ghana was founded on the rule of law, and everything must be done in accordance with the law, which must be applied without fear or favour.”
The Peace Council appealed to Ghanaians to have trust and confidence in the justice system, whilst employing appropriate channels to seek redress to their concerns, grievances and differences instead of taking the law into their own hands to mar the country’s democratic credentials.
The statement appealed to all the political parties to exercise calm and restraint whilst the police investigate the Kasoa incident that led to the firing of gunshot s and the burning of motorbikes to bring perpetrators to book.
It urged political parties, particularly the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), of the agreement they signed against vigilantism, and asked the NPP and NDC to restrain their members from engaging in acts of violence.
“The irony of the situation is that whilst the National Peace Council through its regional offices is waging strong advocacy campaign aimed at raising awareness of the existence of the vigilantism law(Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019 (Act 999) across the country, the reported cases of violence at the registration centres are on the rise, ” the statement stressed.
It said the political parties had failed woefully to play the game by the rules, resulting in hostilities at some voters registration centres.
On challenging of the eligibility or otherwise of a registrant, the Council said “the Electoral Commission’s procedures clearly spells out how a person’s illegibility can be challenged, but what seems to beat the imagination of the Council is the deployment of unconventional methods by the political parties to gain advantage in the electoral process”.
The Council condemned the of bussing prospective registrants from places different from their places of residence to other area, saying it was giving rise to the tension and confusion at the registration centres.
The Council said “the practice must not be allowed to rear its ugly head and mar the beauty of our democracy which has won the admiration of all and sundry”.
The statement said the “Council is not against any individual or group of individuals using press conferences, and any form of demonstrations to press home their demands for fairness and justice, which is within their constitutional ambit”.
The Council frowned on all forms of violence directed at innocent people exercising their civic rights to register and vote. – GNA