General News of Thursday, 13 August 2020
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Security Analyst, Colonel Festus Aboagye (Rtd), has expressed very little hope in the country’s prospects of achieving violent-free elections in the upcoming 2020 elections.
According to him, recent events in the just-ended voters registration exercise project very bleak chances of peace for the country moving forward, of course, unless there’s a massive turn around.
Speaking in an interview on the sidelines of CDD’s roundtable discussion on violence, he said,
“I’m not hopeful. If 7th December was going to be violence-free, we should have used the registration process as rehearsals. The registration process showed that we were prepared and willing to resort to violence in different forms to achieve parochial, political objectives.”
The retired military officer blamed political parties and actors for masterminding violent incidents through foot soldiers whom they use as tools. These persons he maintains, have rendered the country’s laws virtually inoperable.
“There’s every reason to believe that the political parties are taking the country hostage… So we’ve seen from the presentations that the laws are virtually useless. They are just a slap on the wrist. We’ve had instances where people have been taken to court, they’ve been fined and some political sponsors have paid for the fine,” he said.
Col. Aboagye, however, emphasised that a turn around is the only feasible solution to these episodes of violence, if indeed the upcoming general elections would be free, fair and peaceful.
“One reason we cannot deal with the narrative is that it is these same political actors who must either withdraw from using this violence and who indeed make the laws….So until the political actors get serious about the issue of political vigilantism, it doesn’t matter how many round tables we do, it is not going to work,’ he said.
“Between now and 7th December, there could be other indicators that we could be looking at, but if those indicators don’t happen, if we don’t see good faith on the part of political actors, we don’t see the laws being applied across board, without distinction or favour of who is who, come 7th December, we are likely to have violence on our hands again.”
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