Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas has said addressing the menace of vigilantism requires the full arsenal of conflict prevention tools and a strong commitment of the political leaders.
According to the United Nations’ Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel, Ghana must spare no effort in addressing the menace as it is “inimical to the consolidation of democracy in Ghana, weakens Ghana’s efforts to promote peace and tarnishes the proud reputation of the country.”
Addressing a lecture at the Mövenpick Hotel Accra, to mark the 100years birthday of the National Chief Imam, Osman Nuhu Sharubutu, Dr. Chambas in reference to the violence that marred the January 2019 by-election in Ayawaso said, “the size of mass militia groups, policing an electoral process, frightened and deeply troubled ordinary Ghanaians.”
The threat of vigilantism, he said, must be nipped “before it turns into cancer that can relatively consume the stable political climate.”
While commending the efforts of Government and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) toward addressing the menace he said: “the United Nations will remain at your disposal to facilitate nonpartisan conversations and lend its support to the ongoing national effort led by the National Peace Council.”
Dr. Chambas was referring to ongoing mediations talks being facilitated by the National Peace Council between the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and NDC to voluntarily disband militias loyal to them following a directive by the president.
This was after the Justice Emile Short Commission tasked to investigate the violence, submitted its report to the President.
Inviting Ghanaians to learn from the exemplary leadership of the National Chief Imam, Dr. Chambas said that “Ghana is considered a beacon of democracy, stability and peace in the region due to the sacrifices made by persons such as the chief imam.”
Speaking to the National Chief Imam’s peaceful credentials he said “one of the cardinal principles that have taken him this far is discipline. The Chief Imam is a disciplined person and a disciplinarian.”
“He is constantly preaching against indiscipline, misconduct, unruly behavior and activities which put the Muslim community into disrepute,” he told the audience made of the former president John Dramani Mahama and the Vice President, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia.
Dr. Chambas said the Muslim leader “regularly advises the youth to harness their future through education, hard work, focus and determination and to avoid behaviours that tarnish our image as Muslim community in the country.”
The lecture at the Mövenpick Hotel Accra is only one of many activities earmarked to celebrate the life of the revered Islamic cleric.
It comes a day after the National Chief Imam in a rare demonstration of love worshipped with Christians at the Christ the King Parish, in Accra, on Easter Sunday.
Rev. Andrew Campbell described the visit to the church as indicative of the peaceful co-existence between Christians and Muslims.
Alhaji Khuzaima Osman who is the Personal Assistant to the National Chief Imam has told the public that other activities to mark the birthday celebration of Chief Iman include blood donation at his residence in collaboration with the 37 Military Hospital, Health Walk, Quranic recitation and special prayers.