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Mon, Sep

We need assurance that troublemakers will be arrested

There is a worrying signal in our body politic that calls for immediate action to safeguard the peace and stability of the country.

It will not be out of place to say that since the advent of the Fourth Republic, the security agencies have found it very difficult to prosecute people involved in electoral violence.

All criminal activities perpetrated in the name of elections are regarded as politically motivated and the security agencies quickly develop cold feet in bringing the perpetrators to book.

With 13 days to go for elections on December 7, the question to ask is: when will the Ghana Police Service assure Ghanaians that troublemakers will not be made to go scot-free but will be dealt with according to the law?

It is just a few days to the D-day but so far no arrests have been made after violent clashes between party supporters at Nima in Accra, Asokore in the New Juaben municipality in the Eastern Region, Ketu South in the Volta Region, Nakpayili in the Wulensi Constituency in the Northern Region and Odododiodoo in Accra.

In all the instances, the clashes have been between supporters of the two major political parties – the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP).

While we believe that the police are there to protect lives and property and are putting themselves in readiness to ensure order during the elections, the spate of violent clashes in the run-up to the elections and inaction on the part of the police by way of arrests and prosecution give cause for concern.

As the Daily Graphic has stated on many occasions, we believe that the laws against violence, disorder and lawlessness must be made to work, else we will soon see a replication of life in the jungle right here where only the fittest will survive or might is considered right.

The Daily Graphic believes that many Ghanaians are law-abiding and so we must not allow the few tens and hundreds of people to hold the whole country to ransom because they are angered by issues which, most of the time, are not worth fighting over.

During the last elections in 2012, approximately 11 million people voted and this year, although the number is estimated to increase, it is certain that it will be less than half of the current population.

We should not allow just a few people with the penchant to create violence take all of us for a ride. It is when we fail to bring such people to order by falling on the law that we indirectly tell them that they can go ahead and cause havoc and no one will question them.

The average Ghanaian is not so upbeat about who wins the election as to create confusion or mayhem when a favourite candidate loses.

But to prevent that from happening, we need the police to assure all Ghanaians that we are in safe hands when we entrust ourselves into their hands during the elections.

What the head porter at the market, the artisan, the shoe shine boy or the peasant farmer wants is to be able to go about his or her business in peace and be able to feed himself or herself, get a place to lay his head and get some clothes to put on.

After all, these are the basic necessities of life.

We also urge the leadership of the political parties to condemn any violent acts by their members, distance themselves from such tendencies and assure the rest of law-abiding members that they are safe.

It is worrying that although our political party leaders commit to peace, they are yet to openly condemn their members who engage in violent acts.