The National Peace Council is advocating a policy to restrain people, other than security personnel from brandishing guns in public.
“If possible there should be a law that nobody should carry guns unless maybe he or she is the person detailed to be the officer in charge of the center or such a public place. Nobody should go to the polling station with a gun.”
Ashanti Regional Chairman, Rt Rev Christopher Nyarko Andam made the call following Monday’s incident at Asawasi where a supposed National Security operative pulled a gun at a registration centre.
“The National Peace Council condemns such activities totally. Not that incidents alone but the pulling of guns at polling stations, it is wrong but it is becoming a phenomenon and we must put a stop to it at once,” Rt Rev Andam said.
It is the second major incident in weeks after the Electoral Commission began the voter registration exercise; the first was Member of Parliament for Awutu Senya East Constituency, Hawa Koomson who fired warning shots at a center in Kasoa over misunderstandings during the exercise.
Madam Koomson, who doubles as the Special Development Initiatives Minister told JoyNews that she only fired the gunshots when her life was threatened by some thugs alleged to be affiliated to the opposition NDC.
Rt Rev Christopher Nyarko Andam said appropriate laws are required to curb the trend, especially, as the country counts down to the December polls.
“Going to the polling station to register or vote, nobody should carry a gun, because the place is not a battle ground. These are early warning signs and we must deal with them at once before it degenerate into something else,” He warns of the worst, if government fails to act decisively to bring tension down before December 7.
“But the pulling of guns, we plead with the citizenry that when we are going to a polling station it is a place that is a crowdy and people always converge there.
And if you are not careful and you pull a gun, you may kill. It is wrong, we must put a stop to it at once before it escalates into something else”.
The Council, however, advised that persons that encounter challenges at especially registration centers as the EC continues with the voter exercise should report to the relevant security agencies.
“What we are saying is that police personnel and other security men are always detailed to be at every registration centers or polling stations,
“If you go there and you have any grievance, report to the police, if it is for protection because they are there to protect lives instead of you yourself taking the law into your own hands to deal with the person”, Right Reverend Nyarko Andam added.
The reverend minister spoke to Luv News on the sidelines of a two-day stakeholder meeting to strengthen the advocacy on the Vigilantism and Related Offenses Act held in Kumasi.