Accra, May 15, GNA – Participants at this year’s Constitution Week have urged government to create more jobs and develop other disciplines of sports to keep the youth busy and also make vigilantism unattractive.
According to them until that is done vigilantism will continue to be a national problem.
They also criticized political loyalties to appointing authorities as the main cause of the breakdown of systems in Ghana and urged government to allow security services to appoint their own heads to ensure effective implementations of the laws of the land.
“We need to learn from our neighbours in the sub region, where the Inspector General of Police is appointed by the officers and not by the government.”
They argued that once people are appointed by the government, it would be difficult for the appointees to go contrarily to their “boss’” orders and called for the amendment of that portion of the Constitution.
The Constitutional Week is an annual forum organized by the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE), to educate the public on the provisions in the 1992 Constitution.
This year’s celebration, which was under the theme, “The Threat of Vigilantism to our Democracy and Sovereignty: The Role of the Security Services,” was held for Officers of the Ghana Prisons Service in Accra.
A similar forum was held earlier for the Ghana Police Service and the Ghana Immigration Service.
The participants also called for a legislation that would bind both the perpetrators and beneficiaries of vigilantism to serve as disincentives.
Ms Josephine Nkrumah, Chairperson of the NCCE, said vigilantism was as a result of citizens allowing politics to erode every positive gains of the democracy.
She said after 27 years of uninterrupted democracy “we cannot allow ourselves to be taken back by selfish individuals and politicians” and emphasized the importance of the security services to de-politicise vigilantism in the country.
She noted that almost all the 12 stakeholders they engaged, including political parties, did not support vigilantism.
They agreed that vigilantism was a shared responsibility and urged all to join the fight to protect the democracy and sovereignty, she said.
She said: “Vigilantism affects everybody in society and this is the time that we must all join forces to condemn the act. We cannot allow only few people to hold the country to ransom”.
Ms Nkrumah said every citizen including the security services had a duty to protect the country and urged them to contribute their quota to put an end to vigilantism in the country.
“It is important to find ways to de-politicise Vigilantism to ensure that we pass on a peaceful country to the next generation. We need everyone’s voice to be heard in finding the solution”.
Hajia Ajara Rafai, a Member of the Commission urged Ghanaians to stand on the side of the truth as professionals to attract the public support and admiration.
She said one worrying thing was that the current crop of vigilantes were neither illiterates nor villagers but well-educated and well-trained individuals.
Director of Prisons in-charge of Technical and Services, Mr Nelson Duut, said the lackadaisical attitude of the youth these days was a disincentive for job creation and called for attitudinal change across all levels.
Deputy Director of Prisons, General Staff Officer Samuel Akolbire said the laws of the land should work by allowing the mandated authorities to deal with the menace of vigilantism.