The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has condemned reports of violent attacks and shootings at the ongoing by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in Accra.
It said although the NCCE has consistently campaigned against the operations of political party thugs in Ghana with pronouncements on the dangers it poses to the country’s democracy, such acts still continue.
In a statement Thursday signed by Samuel Asare Akuamoah, the Commission said it is appalled by the development cautioning the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) to respect the voting rights of citizens.
“It is unfortunate that political parties especially the NPP and the NDC have continually disowned existing political thugs but these groups continue to provide them services that hitherto, ought to be provided by the traditional security institutions.
“The NCCE vehemently voices out its displeasure and wishes to state that whether these groups owe allegiance to the NPP or the NDC, political party vigilantes must not be allowed any space to operate in our democracy,” the Deputy Operations Director said.
According to the Commission, the growing trend of acts of violence that are becoming a brand of by-elections are regrettable calling for immediate action to nib the menace in the bud.
“The Commission reiterates and reminds political parties and political actors that party thugs pose a serious threat to our democracy and the earlier we nib the operations of these groups in the bud, the better for us as a country.
“As a country, we must be worried that these developments are dangerous signs ahead of 2020 general elections. The NPP and NDC cannot hold this country to a ransom intimidating voters and citizens with their political party hoodlums during election seasons for their parochial interest,” the NCCE said.
They called for calm among voters and citizens at large and urge the security agencies to perform their duties in maintaining law and order without any fear or favour.
The Commission called on the Inspector General of Police and the National Security to fully investigate the violence that happened at the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency and the perpetrators made to face the full rigours of the law.