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Regional News of Wednesday, 13 October 2021

Source: GNA

Dzita residents asked not to take laws into own hands

Participants at the at a town hall meeting Participants at the at a town hall meeting

Residents of Dzita, a fishing community in the Anloga District have been asked to uphold Ghana’s Constitution and not take the law into their own hands.

The people felt following criminal and civil procedures by reporting and handing suspected criminals over to law enforcers had yielded little or no results hence, the consideration of dealing with such suspects in their own way.

For the past few years, Dzita, the once peaceful community has been bedeviled with quite a number of gory murder cases with most of the bodies discovered by the townsfolks either in the mangrove or shallowly buried at the seashore, some, without vital parts, a development which virtually placed residents (mostly fishers and farmers) under perpetual curfew.

This led to series of demonstrations and petitions by the residents to impress on government to find those behind the murders and to bring them to book with allegations that the Ghana Police Service sometimes rather chased after innocent people and not the prime suspects.

But reacting to the people’s concerns at a town hall meeting in the community organized by the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Thomas Yao Agbanyo, Anloga District Police Commander, insisted it was important to respect the country’s laws in resolving crimes saying, the framers of the 1992 Constitution had good reasons when they deemed a person to be innocent until proven guilty.

He said there were procedures in prosecuting cases in court and that it was not right to assume that because suspects were not in jail or were granted bail, the police were ineffective, not interested in fishing out perpetrators, or incapable of protecting the citizens thus, the need for the people to resort to violent means of resolving issues.

The District Commander encouraged the residents to support the police in crime-fighting by monitoring and reporting activities of strangers in the area and reporting criminal activities assuring that his outfit would respond in a timely manner to ensure “Dzita is no more a haven for criminal activities”.

DSP Agbanyo also walked participants through Public Order Act, Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, and Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms, which talked about ensuring public orderliness, warned against land-guarding, and threats of violence and advocated for harmonious settlement of civic cases respectively to keep Ghana’s peace.

Torgbui Hatsu III of Dzita, the Anloga NCCE Director, stressed the need to live in peace with one another saying, only that would lead to the progress of Dzita.

He called on residents to guard against divisive ideologies, religious intolerance, harsh talks, marginalization of persons, and corruption, which he said “starts from even under our mosquito nets at home” and rather be understanding and bear with others and where necessary, employ peaceful means to address grievances.

Kenneth Kponor, Regional Director, NCCE said the Commission and the National Security Ministry’s nationwide campaign on national cohesion and inclusive participation aimed to engage the public on their civic rights and obligations, identification of security threats, and ways of addressing them to empower the citizenry to stand for peace.

Madam Kathleen Addy, Deputy Chairperson, NCCE in charge of Finance and Administration, urged the people to continue to engage each other on their differences as people of one nation and never resort to violence that might invite terrorists in to destroy the country.

“Like the theme, One People, One Nation, we’re all Ghanaians and we must remain united so that the troubles in Mali, Burkina Faso, and others won’t happen here.

“People envy our peace and maybe waiting to infiltrate and destroy us. People may genuinely come to us because of the problem in their countries, but others may come to cause trouble. That’s why we should be welcoming to everyone but still be vigilant to prevent any threats to our peace.”