Government must be held responsible for the violence, assault and atrocities meted on innocent Ghanaian citizens at the ongoing registration exercise at the Electoral Commission registration centers. Thugs who are members of some Vigilante groups recruited and integrated into the security services have been spotted moving from one registration center to the other in Toyota Land cruisers and other branded vehicles intimidating, beating and threatening innocent voters who have queued to register.
The Coalition of Civil Societies Against Political Vigilantism (CCSAPV) believes that, these individuals wielding ammunitions and all kinds of assault weapons on rampage, are emboldened because of government’s refusal to implement the Emile Short Commission’s recommendations on the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Election violence.
In a statement signed by Eben Kwaku Fenuku the Ag. Chairman and David Kumi the Head of Research and Development, the Coalition is completely shocked that, after one year and some months after the incident, the president has refused to implement even one of the recommendations presented by the Emile Short Commission on 14th March, 2019 to the President. As a result, perpetrators of such crime against the innocent electorates continue to walk shoulder high and this will eventually encourage others with similar ambition to soldier on.
Government’s refusal to punish perpetrators of the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Elections violence makes mockery of government’s commitment to fight political vigilantism. And this will only motivate and embolden others with similar intentions to cause mayhem at the 2020 General Elections.
The evidence of possible mayhem that may characterize the 2020 General Elections is the shadow of violence being recorded at some registration centers in the on-going Voter’s Registration Exercise across the country. For instance the brutalities at Awutu Senya East (Kasoa) where Mr Ebenezer Agbo Tei was attacked on his head with blood all over his body is a public knowledge. There have also been several reports of shooting incidents in the Awutu Senya East constituency, unfortunately, the police is yet to act.
At Asutifi South there was another attack where a gentleman sustained deep cut close to his right eye. Similarly, some militia operatives with mask covering their faces have been terrorizing registrants at some registration centers.
Again at Dorma West, there are evidence of vigilante groups impersonating soldiers terrorizing people in that constituency. The list continues.
The Coalition has noted with regret the lukewarm attitude of State Security Agencies towards these happenings ahead of 2020 General Elections.
We therefore call on government to:
1. Rescind its decision and withdraw the initial White Paper Report which sort to decline the implementation of the commission’s recommendations to the fullest. This in our view, will serve as a deterrent to any individual, group of persons or organizations harboring similar ambitions.
2. Take matters of vigilantism seriously and also ensure that justice is dispensed fairly and equally to inspire confidence in the general public. This in our view, will discourage the public from seeking personal and instant justice. It is said that, coming events cast their shadows.