General News of Saturday, 15 July 2017
The Paramount Chief of Sagnarigu, Naa Yakubu Abdulai, has kicked against the proposal for an all-inclusive government.
In his view, it would be a recipe for sabotaging the smooth implementation of the policies and programmes of the government in power.
The chief, who kicked against the proposal of all inclusiveness, noted that no political party in opposition would assist the party in power to achieve its development goals to enhance the wellbeing of the people.
Winner takes all
According to him, “the winner takes all” governance system would help the government of the day to execute its policies and programmes instead of the all inclusiveness being proposed by a section of society as the cure for bad governance in the country.
He explained that the all-inclusive governance system would lead to the sabotage of the government in power, its policies and programmes as people who may be appointed outside the ruling party would not share or believe in the vision, philosophy and ideology of the government of the day.
Naa Abdulai, who was Ghana’s Ambassador to Senegal during former President Kufuor’s administration, said this at a roundtable discussion organised by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO), a coalition of independent and non-partisan civil society, in Tamale last Tuesday. It assessed the conduct of the 2016 presidential and parliamentary elections and drew valuable lessons for improving the conduct of future elections, as well as solutions to curb vigilantism.
The forum, which brought together personnel of security agencies, chiefs, religious leaders and political parties, sought to collate diverse views on how to deal with vigilante groups in the country. It also forms part of CODEO’s nationwide engagement on the menace of political party vigilantism in Ghana’s electoral system.
On the rising levels of political vigilantism in the country, Naa Abdulai condemned it and called on the government, various political parties, security agencies and all Ghanaians to join hands to deal with the menace before it gets out of hand.
He also condemned the recent attacks on state institutions and individuals by some youth who claimed to pledge allegiance to the ruling party.
Naa Abdulai suggested that all political parties must be made to commit themselves to a pledge which they would sign each election year that would be binding on them, to ensure that their faithful do not harass and intimidate their opponents once they are voted into power.
He added that, that was the way to go to curb the rise in vigilantism after each election.
The Northern Regional Police Commander, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Mr Patrick Adusei Sarpong, suggested to political parties to find alternative means to engage the youth of their party after they won political power to help curb the rise in vigilante groups after every general election and also to prevent them from taking the laws of the land into their hands.
He also called on political parties to reintegrate members of their party after helping them win power to reduce the formation of vigilante groups.
Confidence in security agencies
The Northern regional police commander also stressed the need for politicians to have confidence in the various security agencies since they were there to protect the nation.
According to him, there was no need to limit the powers of the President, rather the rule of law should be allowed to work in the country to ensure sanity.
“Political parties, when in power, defend the security agencies but after losing election, attack them which is not fair,” he said.
He stated that political parties must be sincere to themselves when dealing with security agencies when in power and out of power to help build public confidence in the country’s security system and help erase the erroneous impression that the security agencies were there for only for the government in power.
ACP Sarpong, however, expressed concerns about the excessive political interference in the appointment of heads of the various security agencies and public institutions which do not make these institutions work independently and efficiently.
He noted that those institutions of state, such as the security and public services, must be allowed to work devoid of any political interference.
Educate the youth
The Chairman of the Northern Regional Peace Council and the Metropolitan Arch-Bishop of Tamale, Most Reverend Philip Naameh, called on Islamic leaders to educate the youth on the menace of vigilantism in the country to ensure peace and tranquility.
He said there was the need for government to help address the needs of the youth to reduce the indiscipline among them in the country, adding that the inability of governments to take the youth seriously had led to the formation of youths groups who use violent means to earn a living.
An Advisory Board Member of CODEO, Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu, said the long periods Christians spent in church deterred their youth from forming vigilante groups.
He, therefore, stressed the need for Islamic leaders to use their podia to preach peace and also ensure that their youth adhered to the rule of law in the country, lamenting the fact that there were Muslim youth in almost every violence that occurred in the country due to the little time they spent at the mosque.
Some stakeholders at the forum also said the formation of vigilante groups encouraged the proliferation of arms in the country.
Others also stated that if the various political vigilante groups were not disbanded, the youths would use all available means to earn a living, posing a security threat to the nation.