The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG) has expressed shock about the violence that took place during the just ended by-election at Ayawaso West Wougon Constituency.
The PCG, as one of the biggest denominations in Ghana cannot sit unconcerned and not comment on such an unfortunate situation. It is therefore adding its voice to the number of condemnations from institutions and individuals.
We are therefore as a matter of urgency calling on the security agencies to investigate the incident and make their findings public for everybody to know what actually transpired on the day and all those found to have taken part in the violence dealt with according to the laws of the land.
The PCG is of the view that if the matter is not investigated and suspects brought to book, these violent attacks during by-elections in Ghana would be replicated one day during general elections.
We as a church believe that the 2020 general elections is less than 24 months away and if such violence is left uninvestigated and alleged perpetrators escape justice, such acts of indiscipline will serve as a licence for those who have the intent of institutionalizing violence in Ghana’s electoral and democratic processes.
The Church is of the believe that reports of incidence of violence with sporadic firing of gunshots and attacks with machetes during the conduct of polls, resulting in the hospitalization of victims and destruction of vehicles, are unacceptable and raise serious concerns about the ease and impunity with which violence is unleashed during elections in Ghana.
We as a church believe that all these incidents of violence during polls in Ghana continue to happen because those engage in such acts are left unpunished.
The PCG is of the opinion that reported violence associated with the elections in Ghana clearly undermines the democratic objective of peacefully electing political leaders.
For over 25 years, Ghana has progressively entrenched democracy while maintaining relative peace and stability. It has gone through seven consecutive elections without large-scale violence and three peaceful changes of power between its two main parties – the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Yet both the NDC and the NPP, whether in opposition or in government, increasingly rely on vigilante groups to provide security for their campaigns and ensure electoral victory.
If political vigilantism in Ghana is not checked, one day we will all live to regret their institution.
Long live the Presbyterian Church of Ghana
Long live the Republic of Ghana
May God bless us all.
Statement issue by:
The Public Relations Officer of the PCG Rev George Larbi on behalf of the
Moderator of the Church the Rt Rev Prof Joseph Obiri Yeboah Mante