Archbishop Gabriel Palmer-Buckle
The Ghana Catholic Bishops’ Conference has expressed disgust over the many incidents of violence across the country, with a call on the government to be tough on them.
According to the bishops, the level of violence being perpetuated by political vigilante groups, land guards and nomadic herdsmen is increasing the level of insecurity in the country.
To this end, they urged the government to show more commitment in dealing with the menace beyond merely calling on the security agencies to deal with the problem. They made the call in a communiqué issued after their meeting in the Volta Regional capital, Ho.
The communiqué, read by the Metropolitan Archbishop of Accra, Gabriel Palmer-Buckle, said, “Although such groups (vigilante groups, nomadic herdsmen and land guards) are employed by Ghanaians to protect their properties, they terrorize fellow Ghanaians who have varied invariant interests in the same property.”
To this end “…we the Ghana Catholic Bishops cannot ignore the fact that landguards, political vigilante groups and nomadic herdsmen have unleashed violence on Ghanaians for a very long time.”
They therefore demandedM “…we need more action than words. Government must walk the talk. We demand that our security agencies shall disengage these groups once and for all.”
The Bishops Conference also spoke against mob lynching, adding that it is a sign of impatient society that has no trust and respect for due process, rule of law and dignity of human life.
The conference therefore recommended “a radical education that acknowledges that every human life in Ghana is sacred and ought to be respected from the moment of conception to natural death. We further encourage continuous education of every Ghanaian to respect due process which is a basic tenet of our democratic dispensation.”
The bishops were also unhappy about the spate of sexual abuse, particularly against minors, describing the act as “…not only evil, but also criminal and a serious indictment of the society.”
They therefore stressed that such perpetrators must be made to face the full rigors of the law while “we commend them into God’s mercy.”
They also recommended that the Gender, Children and Social Protection Ministry should work with the Ghana Education Service to institute systems in the basic school to protect children in schools and sensitize them on how to report such abuses promptly.
From Fred Duodu, Ho (firstname.lastname@example.org)