By Joyce Danso/Josephine Dodoo, GNA
Accra, Feb. 28, GNA – Mr George Amoh, Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council (NPC) on Friday advised Ghanaians not to allow vigilantism to destroy the beauty of democracy being practiced in the country.
Mr. Amoh also asked the youth not allow themselves to be used by politicians or political parties as instruments of vigilantism because the current status of the law spells out stiffer punishment for those who engage in vigilantism.
The NPC Executive Secretary stated at media launch of the project dubbed; “Educating, Training and Healing of Individuals, Communities and Societies (ETHICS) Against Vigilantism in Ghana’s Elections” in Accra.
The project being driven by Caritas Ghana has an 18 month duration. Caritas Ghana is made up of the National Catholic Secretariat, Office of the National Chief Imam, Ghana Pentecostal and Charismatic Churches, Christian Council of Ghana, Ahmadiyya Muslim Mission Ghana, Federation of Muslim Women Association in Ghana and Marshallan Relief and Development Services.
The project would among others seek to identify, sensitize and adopt ex-vigilantism groups by way of providing them with counselling. It would also enable religious leaders facilitate the signing of pledges by ex-vigilantes and provide jobs for the youth engaged in the menace.
Under the project, hotspots in six regions namely, Greater Accra, Northern, North East, Savanah, Upper East and West have been selected.
The youth in the Northern region are expected to benefit from “cash for work” Initiative under the project.
Mr. Amoh noted that vigilantism has caused a lot of pain and suffering as well as deaths or loss of lives in the country saying “it was about time for us to turn away from this vigilantism issues”.
According to him, the NPC would continue to partner other social groups in their bid to ensure a peaceful elections by way of shaping the minds of youth on the need to turn away from the practice.
The NPC Executive Secretary noted that citizens would not allow vigilantism to take over the country because “we do not have any place to go should the vigilantism continue to eat up our democracy”.
He said, it was important that the country raised voices that would bring the people together for the sake of posterity.
Sheik Armiyawo Shaibu, Spokesperson of the National Chief Imam, Sheik Dr. Nuhu Sharabutu, who performed the launch urged FAITH Ghana Alliance to work together and pull resources to fight against vigilantism.
According to Sheik Shaibu, Vigilantism was a threat to the country’s peace and undermines the purpose of unity in the nation.
He admonished the youth to stay away from being recruited for acts of vigilantism.
Mr. Samuel Zan Akologo, Executive Secretary of Caritas Ghana and Coordinator of FAITH In Ghana Alliance said the launch of the project was yet another ground breaking undertaking by diverse faith groups.
Mr. Akologo said Caritas Ghana would remain neutral and independent so it could monitor and assess electoral processes and come out with recommendations that are mutually respected by all.
“We will intervene on the side of youth by educating, training and healing them against these undignified practices and abuses.
“We will also safeguard our political environment so that women and vulnerable persons can feel safe to participate in the electoral processes especially turning out to cast their legitimate vote,” he stressed.
Mr. David Issaka, Head of Programmes, Caritas Ghana, said the project would improve peace and security in Ghana’s election value chain and eliminate excessive conduct by potentially sponsored groups.
According to Mr. Issaka, the project would ensure that there was an improvement in security matters before, during and after the general elections.
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