Election stakeholders, including State and non-State actors, have pledged to work together to ensure the speedy resolution of all violence cases recorded during the 2020 electioneering period.
This follows a forum organized by the Ghana Center for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana), with support from the West Africa Network for Peacebuilding (WANEP), and in collaboration with the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) for the victims and families affected by the 2020 electoral violence, the Ghana Police Service, the National Peace Council, political parties and the media.
CDD-Ghana, under its ‘Post-Elections Accountability on Elections Security’ project, has been tracking the status of electoral violence cases recorded in the 2020 elections in 11 Constituencies from six out of the 16 administrative regions in Ghana. The project seeks to advocate for the speedy resolution of all the cases to engender public trust in the security and criminal justice system and limit the tendency for potential reprisal attacks in future elections.
As part of efforts to achieve this goal, the forum was organized to help bridge the gap between the victims/families and the State, security agencies and criminal justice institutions to engender trust amongst them in the pursuit of justice. It also sought to provide the victims and affected families a safe space to share their stories and challenges in seeking justice while giving them access to credible information from key stakeholders on their respective cases.
The participating victims and families recounted how the incidents occurred, the after-effects on their socio-economic lives, as well as the difficulty in seeking justice. Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson of NCCE who doubles as the Chair of the Project Advisory Committee of the ‘Post-Elections Accountability on Elections Security’ project, emphasized that the wheels of justice move slowly, and the sharing of information and the search for peace are the elements that speed it up.
“What we require across board is justice and compensation. Justice does not happen by chance. If you want justice, you must pursue justice. Ghana must transition from a period of violence associated with elections, to elections that come and go peacefully for all of us. As hard as it is,
et us not harbour in us, any mind-set of retribution, of revenge, of reprisal attacks. Violence begets violence and that will not auger well for us as a country,” she cautioned.
In addition, she recommended for the State to provide psychological support services for the victims and affected families to help them manage the trauma they experienced. On his part, Alhaji Shaibu Yakubu, with the Bono Regional Criminal Investigations Department (CID)
of the Ghana Police Service, encouraged the victims, affected families, and the public not to withhold any information because the Police cannot effectively prosecute a case without evidence. He further assured that the Ghana Police Service is committed to bringing a logical
conclusion to all the cases for justice to prevail.
The ‘Post-Elections Accountability on Elections Security’ project is supported by WANEP, with funding from the European Union (EU).