The Ghana Civil Society Organisations Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals has urged the government to implement the recommendations of the Emile Short Committee Report, which investigated the 2019 violence of the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency bye-election.
At a press conference organised by the group to commemorate the first anniversary of the Ayawaso West Wuogon bye-election violence, the Communications Officer of the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Ms. Faustina Djabatey, who spoke for the group stated that ‘The culture of impunity related to electoral violence persists because culprits are not made to face the full rigour of the law. Today is exactly one year since this unfortunate incident happened. The CSOs SDG Sub-Platform on Goal 16 believes that it is imperative we commemorate the day and, more importantly, take stock of lessons learned’.
Ms. Djabatey called on all stakeholders to ensure that the Ayawaso West Wuogon incident never happens again in any of the electoral areas in the country. She encouraged political parties to eschew any form of violence during elections. She urged them not to incite their supporters to be violent but to support state institutions to do their work, channelling complaints and grievances to the appropriate quarters.
She also called on the government to implement the Vigilantism and Related Offences Law which, according to her, would send a strong signal to potential offenders. She reminded the state security institutions to serve at the behest of the people and resist partisan influence by showing themselves to be neutral, fair and committed to the colours of Ghana.
The members of the Ghana Civil Society Organisations Platform on the Sustainable Development Goals include the Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition (GACC), Community Focus Foundation Ghana (CFF-Ghana), Ghana Integrity Initiative (GII), West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP-Ghana), the Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), SEND Ghana, Renel Ghana Foundation, Youth Research Network of Ghana (YORNG), CSOs against Political Vigilantism (CCSAPV), Sisters Next Door, WUZDA Ghana, ABAK Foundation, PACKS Africa, Foundation for Security and Development in Africa (FOSDA), Positive Action Against Poverty, Access to Life Foundation, Institute of Liberty and Policy Innovation, Lamaconsult Foundation, NORSAAC and Democratic Credentials Network Ghana (DCN-Ghana).
Source: PeaceFM Online
Photo source: S Martin