Alban Kingsford Sumana Bagbin, the Speaker of Parliament appealed to policy-makers to demonstrate accountable governance to ensure fairness and honesty in the electoral systems to prevent violence during this year’s election and after.
He said Policy-makers should promote peace through participatory, institutional quality, and accountability.
Bagbin made the appeal during the 18th Harmattan School 2024 organised by the University for Development Studies and in collaboration with the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research and Consultancy Services in Tamale.
This year’s two-day platform event was on the theme: “Accountable Governance Violence Extremism and 2024 Elections”.
The event was to engage professionals, experts, development partners and academics to share their perspectives on the theme of this year’s Harmattan School to further promote the arsenal of solutions needed to accelerate the development of Ghana as a beacon of peace.
Bagbin said it is the duty of policy-makers to improve peace building around election times, the multiple actors involved need to coordinate activities to avoid overlap and to identify policy gaps.
He called upon the citizens’ Management body, political parties and the electorates to take responsibility to prevent election-related violence by ensuring peace elections.
Bagbin stated that the independence of the election management body must go beyond legislation to include the ability to carry out its work in an independent manner which is obvious to the public.
Alhaji Shaibu Alhassan Shaibu, the Northern Regional Minister said “The emerging threat of violent extremism in the region has heightened the need for a strategic and contextual approach to preventing violent extremism”.
“Government has set in motion to respond to this emerging threat, it is significant to note that Ghana is a signatory to various international instruments against Violent-Extremism and Terrorism which has developed a legal framework to prevent and combat Violent-Extremism and Terrorism in the country”. He add
He also indicated that government commitment to prevents violent extremism, the Ministry of National Security has established the National Counter Terrorism and Fusion Centre and launched a national campaign on Preventing Violent Extremism – “See Something, Say Something” which is intended to draw the attention of citizens to play their critical role as informants in the dissemination of critical information to the Security Agencies for processing and taking appropriate action.
He added that government has also equally established new
Immigration Posts and resourced the Ghana Immigration Service with critical gadgets and personnel to patrol the border communities in Ghana.
Mr Shaibu stated that “The Ministry of National Security also collaborates with the National Peace Council and NCCE to raise awareness and build resilience in border communities to prevent violent extremism.
He gave an assurance that the government will take the responsibility of ensuring that all suspicion on manipulation of the electoral process is avoided.
Mr Martin Amidu, the Former Special Prosecutor said “The three arms of government must achieve the general good enshrined in Ghana’s national constitution for the social, economic, cultural, and political wellbeing of its sovereign people, informed by the doctrine of separation of powers and coordination of powers of government”.
He appealed to the government to use his executive power to supervise a free and fair election to prevent violent extremism during this year’s election.
Dr Adam Bonaa, Peace and Security Expert Analyst said the government should close the gap between the rich and the poor in the country to prevent domestic extremism.
He also urged the government to address economic inequalities, corruption, weak governance systems and security challenges as part of the measures to prevent violent extremism in the country especially in the 2024 election and after.
As part of the program, Professor Seidu Al-hassan, the Vice Chancellor of University for Development Studies launched a Research Fund to enhance resource challenges in the University.
He explained that the Research Fund is to support the advancement of knowledge and the betterment of society.
He added that the fund would support researchers in the University to enable them to conduct quality research which would lead to new technological innovations, and also enhance government country development.
He called on all organizations to support the funds to achieve its aims.