Ghana’s president Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has served notice violence will not be entertained during the 2020 general elections.
He said with the coming into being of the Vigilantism Law, the cycle of politically related acts of violence and vigilantism will come to a halt.
According to President Akufo-Addo, the Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, which is currently before Parliament, when passed, should deal effectively with the worrying phenomenon of vigilantism in all parts of the country.
The Bill, when passed, will ensure that “not only the people who are inciting the violence will be punished, but also the powerful people behind them will face the full extent of the law.”
The President stressed that “Once Parliament passes this bill, everyone involved in vigilantism will face the law – whether you are a Minister, Regional Minister, MP or not, once you are implicated, you will be prosecuted.”
President Akufo-Addo made this known on Friday, 12th April, 2019, at a durbar of the Chiefs and people of Sankore, at the commencement of a 2-day tour of the newly created Ahafo Region.
Expressing his disgust at the spate of politically motivated violence in Sankore, he indicated that “this cycle of violence taking place in Sankore ends today.”
He assured residents that, as opposed to what happened in the run-up to the 2016 elections, where Sankore became a hotbed for clashes and attacks on residents, “in the 2020 elections, I give you my personal promise, it will not happen here in Sankore.”
President Akufo-Addo added that persons who resort to the use of violence to win an election are, automatically, not the people’s choice.
“If you are, then there is no need to intimidate people into voting for you. The people themselves will rally together to vote for you. That is what we want to see here in Ghana – peaceful, free elections. If you are going to rely on violence and bloodshed, then it would appear that you are not the one the people want. I repeat, this will not happen again,” he said.
The President continued, “We are not going to allow Ghanaian politics, Ghanaian democracy, to be compromised by these acts of violence and thuggery. It will not happen again. Since October (2018), we have not heard any news of political violence in Sankore. We will continue to monitor the situation. I also call on you to be alert, and help me to ensure that peace continues to reign here in Ghana, especially here in Sankore.”
Source: Daily Mail GH