The Catholic Bishop Conference has vowed to vigorously campaign against any political party which fails to assent to the comprehensive roadmap developed by the National Peace Council to deal with the threat of party militia.
This, according to the Conference, is necessary to press home the need for peace and the total eradication of political vigilantism in the country.
“If any party does not demonstrate commitment to ending this, we may have no choice than to use our pulpit to campaign against such parties because if we encourage this then we are not encouraging democracy,” Secretary-General, Rev Lazerus Anondee told the media after a press briefing.
The comment follows a decision by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) not to sign the document, after the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) led by its General Secretary John Boadu, penned its commitment.
Not even the Peace Council Chair’s plea for the party to sign the document sufficed.
The NDC argued that key stakeholders like the Electoral Commission and government agencies which have the sole responsibility to fully implement the roadmap were not added to the signatories of the document, a situation the party finds worrying.
But reiterating the stance of the Catholic Bishop Conference, Rev Lazerus Anondee said the roadmap is too important to be ignored by any political party.
“I believe that the support shown for this course is very strong and we want to appeal to the political parties to see it as something very important. If we encourage this behaviour, our democracy will be affected. We have no choice than to campaign against anyone who goes contrary to the decision.”
Following the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuguon Constituency by-election, there were calls by the general public for a ban on political vigilantism and the use of militias by all political parties.
This led to the introduction of a political vigilantism dialogue by the National Peace Council.
Although the dialogue witnessed a shaky start with the two major political parties boycotting on some occasions and clashing in views on different occasions, some agreement was reached with the two main political parties showing preparedness to end the menace.
The Peace Council, together with the various stakeholders, finally released a 31-page road map that outlines short, medium and long term plans to eradicate political vigilantism from Ghana’s political dispensation.
It is expected to take effect after the endorsement from the two major political parties, NDC and NPP.