Security Analyst, Colonel Festus Aboagye says the Vigilantism and Related Offence Act is not biting enough to end the perpetration of violence.
According to him the incidents of violence witnessed during the just ended voter registration exercise clearly denote the unending political violence which has characterized Ghana’s politics over the years.
Ghana in 2019 passed the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019 which aims at banning acts of vigilantism, disbands vigilante groups, including political party vigilante groups and land guards.
Speaking to Citi News, Security Analyst, Col. Festus Aboagye says until political actors withdraw from using violence, Ghana’s political sphere will continue to grapple with the issue of political violence.
“The law that we have established, in my mind, has not done anything to dismantle the political vigilante groups. I am not sure the Act by itself by proscribing vigilantism will necessarily mean that the vigilantism groups cease to exist. Invariably, when you look at all the episodes of political violence, it centres around violence between the two main political actors.”
“Kasoa, Awutu Senya East was between the NPP and the NDC. You go to Banda, the same thing happened. The Saturday and Sunday mop-up exercise, similar violence took place. So there is every reason to believe that political parties are taking the country hostage”, he added.
The Code of Conduct and Roadmap to ending political vigilantism was developed by a technical committee following a series of dialogues organized by the National Peace Council.
The move was necessitated by happenings at the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections in 2019.
Events such as the stabbing to death of a man at Banda following an altercation between some NPP and NDC supporters is one of the “most disturbing incidents” in the voter registration exercise.
Also of concern was the firing of weapons at registration centres.
The MP for Awutu Senya East, Mavis Hawa Koomson, is facing calls for her resignation after she discharged a firearm at a voter registration centre in her constituency during a scuffle.
Many advised political parties to check the conduct of their agents and members at the registration centres and also condemned the menace asking for proper punishment for the perpetrators.