The National Commission on Small Arms condemns ‘gun violence’ in the on-going voter registration
The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons (NACSA) has expressed disappointment in some political actors who are resolving political feud with the use of gun and violence in the on-going voter registration exercise.
The commission noted that news of knife attacks, gun violence and shooting incidences in areas including Banda Ahenkro, the Asutifi South Constituency, Kasoa among others was worrisome and urged perpetrators to desist from it.
According to a statement issued in Accra yesterday and signed by the Board Chairman of NACSA, Professor Paul Frimpong-Manso the act was disgraceful and was destroying the democratic nature of the country.
“The Commission wishes to reiterate that as a country that has embraced democracy, gun violence is not an option for the resolution of internal political disputes,” he said.
Mr Frimpong-Manso indicated that it was inhuman to fight for political power by killing or maiming others and urged politicians to see their political opponents as partners in development.
“As Ghanaians, we should eschew violence and rather promote peace, tolerance and dialogue, powerful means that can be used to enhance our democracy, advance our socio-economic development and transform our society for our collective wellbeing,” he added.
Mr Frimpong-Manso entreated political actors to exercise restraints and follow the Electoral Commission’s laid down procedures in addressing any misgivings or misunderstandings rather than resorting to the use of guns.
“The Commission strongly believes that intolerance and violence are acts that should not be tolerated by any society, and as a people, we should detest gun violence regardless of where it is coming from because of its destructive nature,” he added.
In order to maintain peace and order in the country, Mr Frimpong-Manso called on the Ghana Police Service to deal with the perpetrators in accordance with the law without fear or favour, stressing that “any partisan approach can have serious repercussions for our collective peace and security.”
He called on stakeholders to work collectively and assiduously to ensure the on-going voter registration exercise devoid of gun violence to achieve the registration purpose.
On Monday, there was confusion at the Top Hill Down polling centre at Kosoa in the Awutu Senya East in the Central Region, when armed men fired gunshots at the centre whilst registration was ongoing.
Four persons were arrested by the police in connection with the shootings and disturbances at the centre.
However, the EC condemned the act and called on security agencies to investigate the issue as a matter of urgency, and bring the perpetrators to book.
“These acts constitute a breach of the Vigilante and Related Offenses Act, 2019 Act 999. The Act seeks to disband violent activities of political parties and makes political vigilantism an offence punishable by a prison term,” it emphasised.
EC called on persons who wished to challenge an applicant based on ineligibility to fill a challenge form, for the District Registration Review Committee for ruling.