The Assistant Youth Organiserof the Korle Gono Circuit of the Methodist Church-Ghana, Reverend Edward Okine, has cautioned that violence can be a hindrance to the peace the country needs before, during and after the December 7 elections.
According to him, “incidents of violence by some citizens at the polling stations, especially, during the registration and validation exercises were wake-up calls to the government, going into the December 7 polls.
“When we look to the past, events of Ayawaso West Wuogon informed us and the government came up with the Vigilantism and Related Violence Act which should inform us it is likely something of that nature can strike again,” Rev. Okine.
He cautioned in an interview with the Ghanaian Times after he had led the youth of the congregation in a ‘Peace Walk’ which begun from the church premises at Korle Gono, through James Town, Chorkor and ended at the Wesley Methodist Church in Accra.
It was an initiative by the Methodist Church to help in the fight against vigilantism before, during and after the December 7 general election.
Rev. Okine expressed concern about the rate at which some citizens were purchasing small arms which had been on the ascendancy with few months to the polls and urged politicians to desist from making provocative comments that could disturb the peace prevailing in the country.
“I pledged the church’s commitment to educate and inform the citizenry on the importance of protecting and maintaining the peace we are enjoying and we plead with the government to beef up security in all constituencies which have been identified as flashpoints for any form of electoral violence during the elections to ensure law and order,” Rev. Okine stressed.
On the sustenance of peace, he charged every individual to pledge to be an ambassador of peace and religious and civil society organisations must engage their members in peaceful and decorous campaigns.
Rev. Okine hoped the December 7 elections would be successful even though there would be attempts by some unscrupulous citizens to disrupt electoral processes thereby causing fear and panic.
He urged the youth to remain focused and not allow themselves to be used by any political party to foment trouble.
BY BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY AND PHILOMINA OPPONG