UN reiterates commitment to assist in abolishing vigilantism

The United Nations (UN) has reiterated its commitment to assist in efforts to abolish political vigilantism by facilitating national conversations as a means to responding to the issue devoid of partisanship.  

It will also remain committed to lending its support to the ongoing national efforts, led by the National Peace Council, to address political vigilantism and expressed the hope that all parties will participate in reaching a consensus to comprehensively dispose of the phenomenon.

 Dr Mohamed Ibn Chambas, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of the UN Office for West Africa and the Sahel (UNOWAS), made the remarks in a presentation at the Council on Foreign Relations Ghana’s second distinguished guest series public lecture in Accra.

Speaking on the topic: ‘An agenda for building partnerships for peace in West Africa and the Sahel-Challenges and opportunities,’ he noted that “political vigilantism, as demonstrated during the parliamentary by-election in Ayawaso West Wuogon, earlier this year, illustrates two main issues with regard to peace.

“The first is the importance of the political economy of peace, which is not sustainable within a broader context of economic polarisation and inequity, the second major issue                is the need for partnerships in addressing the phenomenon, which is multidimensional in both cause and effect.

“One in five Ghanaians live in poverty. More than a quarter of Ghanaian children (28 per cent) live in poverty, one in eight Ghanaians live in extreme poverty, it runs counter to collective vision as a country, commitment to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), other development objectives, net result is an available cadre of Ghanaians, who have become economically disenfranchised and vulnerable to political manipulation.

“The seeming resilience of political vigilantism means it is beyond reach of political parties, indeed the government alone, I call for national efforts involving multiple partnerships of the government, political parties, security agencies, judiciary, media, communities, civil society, traditional and religious leaders, national and sub-national institutions to find solution to the menace.

“In the current environment, the nation should consider triggering entire instruments within national peace architecture to address challenges of political vigilantism beyond legalistic approaches.

“I should commend the initiative of the president, former President John Mahama and their political parties, to work collaboratively to end the phenomena of vigilantism before it turns into a monster that can no longer be controlled to destroy the reputation of the country,” Dr Chambas warned. -GNA

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