The President of the Republic, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, has assured Ghanaians that he is determined and will ensure that the impending dialogue on vigilantism between the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) is materialised.
The dialogue was a proposal by President Akkufo-Addo during the 2019 SONA to NPP and the NDC to come together and disband vigilante groups in order to sustain the peace we enjoy as a nation during and after elections.
The proposal follows the Ayawaso West Wuogon election violence.
Speaking at the 62nd Independence Day Celebration Parade, At the Aliu Mahama Stadium, Tamale, On Wednesday, 6th March, 2019, the president stated that, “I will spare no effort, including the initiation of the relevant legislation, to ensure that we rid our nation of politically-related violence,” he said.
President Akkufo-Addo noted that under a multi-party democracy, there would necessarily be a divergence of opinions, acknowledging the fact that democracy thrives on debate, passion, argument and, sometimes, even on raised voices.
Nonetheless, he was of the belief that in the midst of the arguments and the raised voices, there is and must always be mutual respect for the opposing viewpoints.
“Under a multi-party democracy, we must have elections that would, invariably, be keenly fought. There is no room, and there should be no room for violence in this whole process. It should be a contest of ideas that seeks to win over the hearts and minds of the people,” he said.
He also remarked that success should be counted by how many young people go to school and get skills and jobs, and not by how many young people can be marshalled to disrupt elections, or how many broken bones we can count.
“The people of Ghana do not deserve to be toyed with in such a reckless manner. The very concept of political violence is offensive, and shames us all who are in politics. That is why I am determined that, hopefully, the impending dialogue between the two major political parties, the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress, who, between them, regularly take more than 95% of the vote in elections, who have provided all the seven governments of the 4th Republic, and who are the only two parties currently represented in Parliament, should succeed.” he said.
Ghana| Atinkaonline.com| Porcia Oforiwaa Ofori