A Coalition of CSOs Against Political Vigilantism (CCSAPV) has petitioned the Inspector General of Police (IGP) over reported cases of brutalities being meted out to innocent citizens at various registration centers across the country. They want the police boss to direct his men not to condone any such incidents.
The full petition is published below:
28th July 2020
The IGP/Mr. James Oppong-Boanuh
GHANA POLICE SERVICE
ARREST AND PROSECUTE PERPETRATORS OF VIOLENCE IN THE ONGOING EC BIOMETRIC VOTER REGISTRATION EXERCISE.
The Coalition of CSOs Against Political Vigilantism (CCSAPV) wishes to bring to your attention and urge you to focus your intention, lenses, and surveillance on several cases of brutalities that have been meted out to innocent citizens at various registration centers across the country and direct all regions and district police commanders not to condone any of such acts in their regions during the ongoing Biometric Voter Registration Exercise by the Electoral Commission of Ghana.
Law and Order
The accepted and established role of the Ghana Police Service is to maintain law and order in the country. As citizens engage in the first stage of the electoral process of having themselves registered to take part in the forthcoming general election in December, it is the responsibility of the Ghana Police Service which is led by the IGP to ensure that no citizen is harassed, threatened, intimidated, assaulted, maimed or killed during the process by another citizen in any capacity. IGP
Lack of Trust
There is a general feeling that electoral violence, assault, and harassment when reported to the police service are not handled in a lawful manner. As we get closer to the general elections, cases of violence, assault, and harassment will increase and perpetrators of such odious acts seemed to be left off the hook. This emboldens perpetrators and increases their level of violence, assault, and harassment in the country. With deepening of such criminal acts in our society, the ordinary citizen has nowhere to turn as they seem not to trust the police anymore and therefore begin taking the law into their own hands. Political parties will also find solace in forming vigilante groups to defend and protect themselves. The arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of violence, assault, and harassment in the country, will not only restrain others from committing such acts but will mark the beginning of the police service regaining public trust.
Recent Incidence of Brutalities and Deaths
The nature of brutalities in recent times has been quite alarming and outrageous. An instance of such brutalities is the murder of Silas Wulouchamey, a graduate from Akim Oda Teacher Training College whose untimely death occurred at Banda Kabrono in the Bono Region. According to eyewitnesses, this murder occurred as a result of mistaken identity by a group of young men wielding machetes and cutlasses believed to be members of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP). Mr. Silas was stabbed because he was mistaken to be a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)). The Coalition is yet to hear of any arrest and criminal prosecutions initiated against perpetrators of such heinous crime. The link on Silas Wulouchamey murder is shown below:
The Coalition further wishes to draw your attention to other unfortunate violent incidents that have characterized this democratic exercise across the country for immediate action. IGP
According to GhanaWeb publication of July 21st, 2020, the clash between Hawa Koomson, NPP MP for Awutu Senya East and Minister of State, and the NDC Parliamentary Candidate of the area, Phylis Naa Koryo is also an unfortunate incident which calls for concern. According to an eye witness, hoodlums of Hawa Kumson, heavily-muscled gun-wielding men led by Kofi Ntinamoa and Ato Koomson to execute this attack. Even though the MP has openly accepted responsibility for the shooting expedition at the Christ registration center in Kasoa but has blatantly refused to disclose the identity of the gun used for the act. Electoral commission officials took to their heels when the men numbering fifteen ransacked the place. At least three motorbikes were burnt in the process. The link to the story is shown below:
As if this is not enough, a gentleman believed to be a member of the NPP Delta Force was seen pointing a gun at one of your personnel at a registration center in Asawase on 28th July 2020. This gentleman threatened the uniformed Police Officer at gunpoint to leave the premises. This was done in the presence of Military Personnel as well. This is highly unacceptable and a complete breakdown of law and order, which should be a major concern to all well-meaning Ghanaians. The link to the story is shown below:
Other happenings at Ledzokuku, Krowor, Ekumfi, Tano South, Asutifi, Hohoe, Aflao, Fadama, etc. are threats to our peaceful co-existence and democracy as a country and the Ghana Police Service must rise up to the task to build confidence in the citizenry.
The Coalition is humbly appealing to your good self as the head of Ghana Police Service who is in charge with the most important responsibility of maintaining peace and order, to as a matter urgency within two weeks to conduct a full investigation into these alarming cases of brutalities and prosecute the perpetrators of such criminal offenses to restore public confidence in your reputable Institution, which has fast eroded. This will also serve as a deterrent to others. However, we hasten to add that if the Police Service fails to achieve this, it is unequivocal that the helpless innocent citizens are likely to take the law into their own hands to ensure their personal safety. IGP
In conclusion, The Coalition of CSO Against Political Vigilantism (CCSAPV) is hereby demanding justice and humbly implores your noble office to act accordingly and decisively without fear or favor. IGP
It is our optimum hope that you will execute the request in this letter with immediate effect.
Yours faithfully. IGP
Alimatu Issahak Eben Kwaku Fanuku
Executive Secretary Chairman
Nelson Mandela Richardson
National Peace Council
National House of Chiefs
Office of the National Chief Imam
All Media Houses