Let’s aggressively deal with political violence

For years, Ghana has achieved the enviable reputation as one of Africa’s leading countries whose democratic development is a beacon for others to follow.

This feat was achieved through hard work and commitment to the values of politics and democracy, respect for rule of law and effective role of institutions.

In a region derailed by political instability and armed conflict, Ghana’s relative peace and stability is truly a cause for joy and believe that democracy is possible here.

However, we cannot be complacent at all. We must be alert and cautious to growing cases of tension and violence that threatens the country’s peace and security.

This is why the Ghanaian Times agrees with calls by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) to security agencies to deal swiftly with emerging pockets of electoral violence to repose confidence in them moving into the 2020 elections.

Chairperson of the Commission, Josephine Nkrumah, in an interview said, the posture of the security agencies was critical to ensure a smooth election and consolidate Ghana’s democratic credentials amid battling the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“In series of engagements that we have had with political parties, we have realised that they do not have confidence in the security agencies and it is important that we begin to see them acting swiftly without fear or favour to instil confidence in them.

“It should not be the case that because one is a big man or woman they can do whatever they like and get away with it,” she stressed.

While imploring electorates to reject candidates who exhibit violent tendencies because that could erode Ghana’s democratic gains, she discouraged voter apathy on the other hand.

The NCCE Chairperson’s call comes off the back of pockets of violence mainly perpetuated by members of the two largest parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) which characterised the Electoral Commission (EC) voters registration exercise across the country.

It is regrettable that some Ghanaians including political actors have, through their actions and statements, taken the country’s relative peace and security for granted.

We are left with no choice than to echo the point that nation building cannot be done in an environment of acrimony, political violence and instability.

It is critical that irrespective of political, ethnic or religious persuasions, we all work together as citizens and ensure a violent-free election.

We are certain that if our security agencies are proactive in aggressively addressing these worrying sources of violence, we will do away with all such threats before, during and after the December 7 polls.

We believe that in acting swiftly to deal with these pockets of violence, all others with intentions to undermine the country’s democracy will be deterred from pursuing such cause.

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