Political parties cautioned against violent vigilantism

Apostle Abraham Swanzy, the Head of the Dormaa Area of the Church of Pentecost in the Bono Region, has cautioned political parties against violent vigilantism as the election 2024 gathers momentum.

That, he said, threatened the nation’s fledgling democracy, and urged them to refrain from providing the vigilante groups with arms and weapons. Besides, Apostle Swanzy said the use of indecent, abusive and intemperate language in the electioneering could inflame passion, trigger political violence and disturb the prevailing peace of the nation.

He drew inferences and lessons from the abuses that characterized the nation’s military regimes, and appealed to political parties and their followers to be mindful of their utterances, saying ‘people usually undertake violent acts because they are shaped to fit into traditionally aggressive norms and moods.’

Apostle Swanzy gave the advice when speaking on the topic, ‘preventing violent extremism andpromoting community resilience’ at an inter-party dialogue committee mee
ting organised by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) with support from the European Union (EU) at Dormaa-Ahenkro.

Discussions were centered on monitoring and reporting threats and vulnerabilities to violent extremism, ways to detect youth radicalization, and signs of recruitment, mediation and resolution of local conflicts.

The meeting was attended by political actors, media practitioners, religious and traditional leaders, and Heads of Departments and Agencies.

Apostle Swanzy underlined the need for the nation to put in place proper and effective systems to prevent, check and contain conflicts, ahead of the December 7, Presidential and Parliamentary polls.

‘It becomes extremely difficult to tame and control ethnic, religious and political violence when they happened,’ he stated, explaining that violent extremism occurred when people employed the use of force to impose their ideologies, either political, social, religious, ethnic or racial on others.

Apostle Swanzy cautioned political, re
ligious and tribal leaders against such practice that had the potential to disturb national peace and social cohesion, saying the 1992 Constitution frowned on such behaviours.

He urged traditional authorities to be more assertive of their roles and contribute towards strengthening democratic governance processes by putting up measures to check violent behaviours within their purview.

Baffour Kwadwo Damoah Afari, a Member of the Bono Regional Peace Council, and the Sanaahene (sub-chief) of the Dormaa Traditional Area, called on political parties to endeavour to accommodate divergent views and opinions, irrespective of individual and political differences.

He said political violence was detrimental to the nation’s growth and development and appealed to everybody to contribute towards achieving peaceful and successful elections.

Mr Seth Broni Tagborloh, the Dormaa Municipal Director of the NCCE, highlighted the relevance of the meeting, and called on everybody to promote peace before, during and after the ge
neral election.

He said research conducted by the EU showed terrorist activities were spreading in neighbouring countries, including Niger, Burkina Faso and Nigeria, hence the need for everybody to remain watchful.

Source: Ghana News Agency