|The Ghana Peace council’s comprehensive roadmap signed by the two dominant parties the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the ruling party National Patriotic Party (NPP), was put to the test at the NPP primaries elections held on June 20, 2020.
In assessing the progress of the roadmap in juxtaposition to the held primaries, Dr. Kwasi Aning, a Security analyst was of the opinion that, “In the aftermath of the NPP signing, that is where we need to begin the process of public education, of engagement and of selling the package for ordinary supporters of political parties to buy into it”.
Dr. Aning believes this is where the real hard work begins as political vigilantism has progressively morphed over the years into a militia “businesses”, and foresees come contestation on the comprehensive roadmap and code of conduct for political parties during election.
“We need to set our eyeballs on the main target, the national politics devoid of violence, of destruction of properties and of threats to human lives”, he said.
Commenting on the matter, the programs officer of CDD, Mr. Paul K. Aborampah said,“We just signed the roadmap on the code of conduct just last week or so by the NDC so it’s now a full document that have been assented to by the leading political parties… the signing of the document is one aspect. The document itself has structures or its recommendation… the national peace council has started fashioning out the implementation structures for it to take off”.
He added that, the code of conducts seek to work on the moral aspect of the political parties and stakeholders to work towards disbanding vigilantism, calling for a holistic approach towards disbandment.
According to the chairman for the National Peace Council, Rev. Emmanuel Asante considered the signing of the roadmap by the two political parties doesn’t necessarily mean an end to “political thuggery”.
He said, “We believe that we have committed stakeholders into doing something that will put a stop to the whole political thuggery we call vigilantism and what we on our part as the national peace council seeks to do… is meeting with stakeholders to try and not only educate them in the quest of what we have achieved, but to get them to put in place structures that will ensure that the kind of things that they have committed themselves to will be prepared to go by that”.
Due to the complexities inherent in the code of conduct, he insisted that it will not be restricted to the political parties alone but ensure other stakeholders and media partner in this cause, with accompanying structures to implement that.
The phase one of the conduct entreats the two leading political parties to affirm their unconditional commitment to non violence in political activities and undertake to execute immediately the tasks listed in the code of conduct.
With the approaching of the December elections, it has become imperative for these parties to abide by the road map and Mr. Aning believes “refraining from vigilantism is much easier said than done” and has degenerated into a business, calling on the peace council to beef up their surveillance on them.
“We should find way of disincentivizing those who want to recruit, encourage and create violence”, he said.
According to Mr. Aborampah, “the roadmap tackles… the person who is perpetrating, the person who formed it and the one who is hiring the service” of the vigilantes should be made to face the implication of their actions and the political parties they’re affiliated to sanctioned by the council. He called for the roadmap and the act which convicts perpetrators of violence are used together.
Going forward, Rev. Asante advised the commitment of the NPP and NDC in averting any incendiary situations in the upcoming elections.
He said, “The people who came for the dialogue, the political parties, these are our leaders… they knew what they were signing, they knew what they were talking about and that they would really commit themselves to the very things that they themselves sat to discuss and agreed on and appended their signatures to.
“It is crucial that we see ourselves as playing a key role in access to the peace accord, the roadmap and the code of conducted”, he added.