General News of Friday, 4 August 2017
Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) has charged all political parties to adhere strictly to an earlier agreement to disband all vigilante groups to sanitise the political space.
It has, subsequently, urged the media to help fight the menace which is endangering the country’s democracy.
According to the group, it was imperative for the media to attach the same level of commitment shown in the fight against ‘galamsey’ to the operations of vigilante groups.
The National Coordinator of CODEO, Mr Albert Kofi Arhin, told the media in Kumasi last Wednesday that the level of violence that had characterised the activities of political parties was becoming alarming.
He said there was the need for the media to come on board and fight vigilante groups, since their activities were illegal.
Mr Arhin appealed to the government and the various political parties, especially the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to denounce the groups that operated in their names, since they were a threat to national security.
He cautioned the media to be circumspect and objective in their reportage on the issues relating to political parties and the activities of the vigilante groups.
The coordinator urged all political parties, especially the leading ones, the NPP and NDC, to disassociate themselves from the vigilante groups and work with the police and other security agencies to stop them.
Trust in police
An Advisory Board Member of CODEO, Mr Nicholas Akyire, said political parties, especially those in opposition, did not trust the police, hence their resort to such groups.
He admonished political parties to desist from making promises to the members of such vigilante groups during election periods to avoid chaos.
Mr Akyire said to prevent such illegal activities, the police should give adequate security to all presidential aspirants during campaign periods.
Participants in a roundtable discussion preceding the press conference suggested that the appointment of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and other top officials of the security agencies should not be made by the President to avoid bias.
CODEO said it would continue to advocate for peaceful and credible electoral processes in Ghana.