Politics Fri, 23 Jun 2017

CODEO asks government to tackle unemployment to curb political vigilantism

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) is asking government to address the high youth unemployment rate in the country as part of efforts at tackling political party vigilantism.

The recommendation forms part of proposals put forward by political parties’ representatives and other stakeholders during a roundtable engagement on the phenomenon of political party vigilantism and the threat it poses to the country’s democracy in Koforidua on Friday.

There have been calls from individuals, Civil Society Organisations as well as some political parties for political parties to disband vigilante groups affiliated to political parties.

In recent times, some of these vigilante groups have unleashed several attacks on individuals and people they regard as political opponents. The recent attack on a Kumasi Circuit Court by a group of young men believed to be members of the ruling NPP’s Delta force, the attack on the Ashanti regional security coordinator among other incidences have necessitated the call to disband political party vigilantism.

However, these political groupings are adamant to the various calls. Some Leaders of the two major political parties in Ghana, the NPP and the NDC have justified the need to keep such groups. They are of the view that the vigilantes provide what they describe as internal security to their respective parties.

But civil society group, Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), says the activities of these vigilante groups must come to an end. It has therefore started a nationwide campaign to collate views from individuals, political parties and Civil Society Organisations on how political party vigilantism can be curbed.

Addressing the media after a roundtable discussion in Koforidua, a member of the board of CODEO, Nicholas Akyire said the need for government to address the high unemployment rate among the youth will play a major role in addressing the menace.

Among other suggestions to address political party vigilantism, CODEO is calling for a concerted effort among key political stakeholders to make the IGP’s position independent by securing their tenure across regimes.

Below are the nine key proposals adopted at the stakeholder engagement in Koforidua.

• Political parties’ lack of confidence in the security agencies, especially the police, contributes to this phenomenon

• The need to adequately resource and empower the security and law enforcement agencies to deal with such criminality of all forms

• The security agencies must deepen the deployment of intelligence to tackle the issue of political party vigilantism

• The need to strengthen the independence of the security agencies, especially the leadership, which may require a second look at their appointment process so as to prevent political interference

• The need to ensure equal and fair level playing field on the electoral terrain and to avoid no-go areas for candidates and parties

• The need to deepen civic and voter education among the citizenry, and also intensify education of the political elites and the media

• Political parties and their leaders must be part of the solution to curb the growing phenomenon

• Conscious and collective efforts to address the winner takes all political system prevailing in the country; and

• The state must address the high youth unemployment rates in the country.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com