National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons has asked political actors in the country not to allow their diversity in opinion, particularly in this election year, derail Ghana’s peace and security.
Although it acknowledged that differences in opinions and divergent views are core pillars in a democratic dispensation, it should not in any way threaten the peace.
“Our divergence and differing opinions should also not lead the country into conflict, abuse and misuse of small arms and light weapons,” it said in a statement Tuesday.
The consequences of that, especially in communities known to be election hotspots where armed conflict is easily triggered, the Commission said, is disastrous.
Pursuant to the Supreme Court’s decision that paved the way for the commencement of the compilation of a new voters’ register, the Commission observed individuals and groups have spoken publicly, expressing divergent views on the ruling.
Identifiable groups, including political parties, it said have also taken “strong positions” on the ruling.
“The clouds and storms that raged before the decision of the Supreme Court have to be buried. As a people we have weathered these kinds of storms before in the 4th Republic because we have remained faithful to the ideals of this country which is Freedom and Justice and this should not be any different,” it advised.
It has thus asked political parties to exercise restraint “and not resort to the use intemperate language” that could inflame passion and lead to the use of guns and violence before, during and after the voter registration exercise which began Tuesday, June 30.
“As a young democracy we should emphasize the things that unite us rather than those that divide us,” the statement signed by the Commission’s board chair, Rev. Prof. Paul Frimpong Manso said.
It underscored the need for all political parties to encourage their supporters to go and register in a peaceful manner and observe all the necessary covid-19 protocols in the interest of Ghana.