The Civil Society Organizations Platform for Good Governance (CSOPGG), a consortium of CSOs in the Northern region, has advised the citizenry to embrace politics as an indispensable tool for nation-building and work consciously towards achieving sustainable peace.The CSOPGG said it was vital for Ghanaians to desist from engaging in an acrimonious type of politics as the nation prepares to go to the polls in December this year, adding that, it would help to uphold democratic principles in the country.
It gave the advice at a press briefing, organised by the CSOPGG with support from the Empowerment for Life Programme of the Ghana Developing Communities Association (GDCA), in Tamale.
It was to observe this year’s International Day of Democracy, which was on the theme; “COVID-19: A spotlight on Democracy”, and was attended by representatives of political parties and CSOs.
Alhaji Mohammed Awal, President of the CSOPGG, addressing participants, expressed worry over the emergence of political party’s vigilante groups, saying, “these groups are threats to a peaceful 2020 elections and may also mar the country’s democratic development”.
Alhaji Awal, who is also the Executive Director of NORSAAC, called on the security and other law enforcement agencies to strictly ensure that laws that prohibit vigilante activities in the country were observed to promote peace and stability among citizens.
“As a nation, let us do everything in our power to maintain the enviable reputation we have so far established as one of Africa’s leading countries whose democratic development is a shining example for others to follow”, he added.
Alhaji Osman Abdel-Rahman, the Executive Director of GDCA, appealed to leaders of political parties in the country to ensure their members and sympathizers comported themselves to stop vigilantism and other forms of political violence to guarantee peace before, during, and after this year’s general elections.
“The media and CSOs should intensify voter and civic education to help monitor this year’s electoral processes and conduct, and call to order, any events that would undermine the values of peace, tranquillity and political development of the nation,” he said.
Political party representatives present at the event took turns to pledge their commitment to ensuring violent-free 2020 elections.