Ban vigilante groups as matter of urgency - WANF
The West Africa Nobles Forum (WANF), a non-governmental organisation, has added its voice to the call on the government to disband all vigilante groups as a matter of urgency.
“The rate at which these vigilante groups are springing up is very alarming and the wantonness of their actions is very dreadful.
Our fledging democracy is under serious threat by these groups and the earlier we disband them, the better it will be for the protection of our endangered democracy, especially as we head towards Election 2020,” it said in a statement signed by its President-General, Rev. Dr Paul Fynn.
Making reference to by-election violence in Chereponi, Talensi, Atewa, it said Ghanaians had experienced too much violence in by-elections.
“This trend must not be allowed to continue since it is fast making our otherwise highly acclaimed democracy a subject of mockery in the eyes of the international community, thus eroding the gains and strides we have made since 1992,” it said.
The forum’s statement comes on the back of the January 31, 2019 Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election where shooting by masked men wearing National Security Council uniforms occured within the precincts of a polling station at La Bawaleshie.
The government has subsequently set up a three-man commission to investigate the matter within a month.
Commenting on the issue, the forum said it was particularly concerned about the shooting incident at La-Bawaleshie that led to the injury of some people, reports of some masked men parading as police officers and the withdrawal of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) from the contests.
“The government must also pay compensation to all the victims, especially those who sustained various forms of injuries.
It is unfortunate that in their quest to exercise their civic duty of voting, they were repelled with acts that have no place in our 27-year-old democracy.
“WANF finds the assault on a sitting Member of Parliament, Mr Sam George, regrettable and an affront to law and order.
No matter the circumstances that may have occasioned the assault, we believe that our security personnel are trained in a manner to deal with such matters more professionally,” it said.