Professor Ransford Gyampo, a political science lecturer at the University of Ghana has said that until the country’s security services are empowered to independently deal with perpetrators of political crimes, the country will continue to suffer such incidents.
Despite the country being famed for successfully conducting elections since 1992, there have been pockets of violence in some constituencies.
In the aftermath of the Ayawaso bye-election which was marred by violence, political vigilantism was identified as a major threat to the country’s peace and as such, moves were made to disband the various vigilante group.
A law was also passed to make vigilante groups illegal in the country but some chaos witnessed in the ongoing voter registration has reignited calls for the government to find a lasting solution to the problem.
Speaking as a panel member on JoyNews’ Newsfile program, on the chaos that rocked a voting registration exercise at Kasoa, Professor Gyampo maintained that until the police and other state organisations are able to act independently of political influence, the chaos associated with elections will persist.
According to him an independent and well-equipped police service will be able to arrest and prosecute political officials who break the rules.
Gyampo observed that the continued politicisation for the security agencies has made it impossible for Ghanaians to trust in them.
“What happened is a show of a fundamental lack of confidence in the security agencies. Since 1992, we have demonstrated lack of confidence in our security agencies because we have politicised them so opposition parties don’t trust the security agencies. Those in power themselves sometimes don’t trust the agencies”.
“In the short term, the practice of MPs and aspirants touring registration and voting centres should be discouraged. Because when they are going there, they don’t go alone. On the longer term, I think that acts of thuggery that surround our electoral processes will not stop unless we do something proactive to depoliticise the security services of the land”.
Professor Gyampo also argued that it will be prudent for the government to distance itself from the actions of the Minister of Special Initiatives, Hawa Koomson.
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