‘Our divergence should not trigger violence’

The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCSALW) has urged political actors to guard against utterances and actions that can trigger gun violence before, during and after the voter registration exercise.

It noted that although in a democratic dispensation, differences in opinions and divergent views were core pillars, the diversity should not challenge the peace and security of the country.

“Our divergence and differing opinions should also not lead the country into conflict, abuse and misuse of Small Arms and Light Weapons with its attendant disastrous consequences, especially in communities known to be election hotspots where armed conflict is easily triggered”, it said in a statement issued in Accra by Reverend Professor Paul Frimpong Manso, the Board Chairman of the Commission.

The Electoral Commission (EC) on June 30, 2020 began registering eligible voters for the compilation of a new voters’ register ahead of the December polls after the Supreme Court on June 24, 2020 gave the commission the green light which has been the subject of controversy since last year.

According to the statement, pursuant to the Supreme Court’s unanimous decision, individuals and groups had spoken publicly, expressing divergent views on the ruling while identifiable groups, including political parties had also taken strong positions on the ruling.

“The clouds and storms that raged before the decision of the Supreme Court have to be buried because as a people we have weathered these kinds of storms before in the 4th Republic because we have remained faithful to the ideals of this country which is Freedom and Justice and this should not be any different,” it said.

It admonished the key actors, especially the political parties to exercise restraint and not resort to the use of intemperate language that inflame passion and eventually lead to the use of guns and for that matter violence before, during and after the voters’ registration exercise. 

“As a young democracy we should emphasize the things that unite us rather than those that divide us, we call on the political parties to encourage their teeming supporters to go and register in a peaceful manner whilst observing all the necessary COVID-19 protocols in the interest of Mother Ghana,” the statement said.


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