The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has launched a report on a roadmap to the fight against political party vigilantism in the country.
The report, dubbed: “Engagement with Political Parties and Other Stakeholders on the Menace of Political Party Vigilantism,” was launched during a media encounter with Mrs Josephine Nkrumah, NCCE Chairperson.
Mrs Nkrumah said the Commission had embarked on the agenda as a measure to nip in the bud the increased political party vigilantism menace in the country before the commencement of the 2020 general elections.
She said: “We need to address this menace as soon as possible before it escalates in 2020.”
She said hitherto, vigilantes were used as security personnel to protect ballot boxes and party officials, however, this initial purpose had been defeated due to the neglect of these vigilantes by their political masters.
She added that mistrust of the security services due to political interference in appointments of the heads of these security services had also led to the empowerment of these groups.
She also added that the “winner takes all” syndrome in our political fibre where the winning party had total influence over all governmental positions and services was a cause for the rise of these militant bodies to protect the interest of their political pay masters.
Unemployment and poverty were equally highlighted as an integral influence of this movements and groups, she said stressing that political parties themselves had served as faithful financiers of these groups to protect their singular interests; this action emboldened and defended party vigilantism.
The chairperson said in NCCE’s effort to address this worry, they had suggested constitutional reforms in the appointment of heads of security services in the country to address political interference in the selection of heads of security services.
This eventually would ensure trust and fairness in the discharge of duty by the nation’s security agencies.
According to her, the NCCE had recommended in their report for constitutional reforms to aid in fair and proper power sharing to give citizen equal opportunities to serve their nation despite their political affiliation.
Adding that, to curb unemployment, the government and stakeholders should put in measures to absorb unemployed youth into employment and job opportunities.
Also, the government must create the enabling environment and support for entrepreneurships and innovations to boost employment in the country.
The Commission suggested that the kingpins of the two main political parties should be the first to create job opportunities to engage these persons in the attempt to reintegrate persons of this nature back into society.
The report also highlighted initiatives such as skills development and apprenticeship for these youth to have a better hope for themselves.
The Commission called on the judiciary to empower the court to apply maximum sentence to persons found guilty of political vigilantism, the Small Arms and Light Weapons Commission should intensify their work to ban the use of illegal and smuggled arms and weapons in the country, seeks to implement the following recommendations to help in the fight against partisan vigilantism.