Lecturers at the University of Ghana have joined the campaign against vigilantism aimed at uniting the public towards violence-free elections in Ghana and across the African continent.
Speaking at an event to launch the campaign on “Say No-To-Vigilantism” at the graduate center of the University of Ghana Business School, Dr. Daniel Appiah, a public sector management specialist, called on the political elites and governance experts to innovate an inclusive system of government that would sustain the country’s political stability and economic development.
According to Dr. Appiah, the increasing level of political vigilantism across the country is a logical consequence of the winner-takes-all politics. He cautioned civil society groups against their advocacy for the transformation of the non-partisan local government system into another winner-takes-all system at the local level.
He observed that since the 1992 general elections, losing political parties obtain over 40% of the valid votes but the ideas and interests of their political elites and followers are ignored by the ruling parties.
Dr. Appiah also pointed out that the winner-takes-all system of multi-party democracy should be reconsidered because it was not used by developed countries during their transitions from the stage of developing countries to industrialized nations.
On his part, the head of department for public administration and health services management, Professor Justice Nyigmah Bawole, pointed that "we expect young people to put their energies in building this country in a way that we would be able to live peacefully and so any initiative that seeks to bring people together, especially young people, to stand up for their rights need to be embraced by all”.
Prof. Bawole called on all political parties to be part of the sensitization initiative against vigilantism. He advised politicians to deal with disagreements according to the laws of the land and not to resort to the use of violence.
He stressed that any action that would destroy the peace of Ghana should be stopped in a way that can bring people together.
A child rights activist and master of public administration student, Mrs. Irene Baah Asare, called on religious, political, traditional leaders, and the youth to join hands in the fight against political vigilantism.
She reminded the public that Ghana -although labelled as "the beacon of Africa’s democracy- is not immune from political instability being witnessed in some Africa countries.
She stressed that, we may have different political backgrounds, but we all belong to one country and race, and we should uphold what has made Ghana an enviable attraction to the outside world.
A lecturer in public administration and health services management, Dr. Thomas Buabeng, called on citizens not to destroy what the forebears of this country have sacrificed for this nation.
He added that if the current generation cannot maintain what the forefathers have bequeathed to them, then they should not destroy it through vigilantism.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Humanity Magazine International, Mr. Yahaya Alhassan, who is the organizer of the “Say No-To-Vigilantism" sensitization program, called on the youth particularly in the Zongo communities to stand up against vigilantism.
As part of his endeavour to ensure vigilantism free Ghana, the sports arm of Humanity Magazine International, Football For Humanity, is organizing a symbolic unity football match between Kumasi Zongo and Accra Zongo at Wembley Park in Accra and Manhyia Palace in Kumasi. He called on the public to patronize the unity event match.