WE EXPECT GOVERNMENT TO PASS THE SDG 16 TEST AS WE APPROACH ELECTION 2020. PIRAN-GH
The United Nations together with 195 nations in 2015 signed up to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and tasks member nations to ensure that their programmes and policies are aligned with these SDGs to improve the lives of their people by 2030.
The Sustainable Development Goal 16 which behooves the member nations to Guarantee Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions cannot be overemphasized in this crucial period in Ghana as far as our December presidential and parliamentary elections are concerned. We wish to remind Government to be alive to one of its key responsibilities to ensure that SDG 16 is put into sharp focus. Already, there are serious apprehensions regarding security issues as such, this is a call for the appropriate security machinery and intelligence gathering to be activated to assure all citizens that they can move about freely without any form of fear for their lives and properties.
We also wish to call on all stakeholders in the upcoming elections including civil society groups to play their roles in promoting peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development by making sure that there are no hate speeches and actions that have the propensity to inflame sentiment of people negatively. And that, the security agencies are encouraged to be very professional in the discharge of their duties before, during and after the elections. We believe that if we all play our roles very well, and the courts also dispense cases brought before them speedily and fairly as always whenever they are called upon, we can be guaranteed the easy and sustained access to peace and justice irrespective of one’s social status. The successes that will be chalked will further enhance the strength of the institutions making them stronger and really in sync with the SDG 16 as it is the focus of our attention as a group.
The concerns to remind ourselves of the SDG 16 as we approach the December 7 elections is of paramount importance to us as we see major stakeholders like chiefs, a fraction of the clergy, civil servants among others flouting some parts of the 1992 constitution with impunity.
The pockets of violence, thuggery and vigilantism which began during the EC registration process are still continuing without a commensurate action from the law enforcement agencies to send clear signals out there to the citizenry. This is worrying and quite defeatist hence our call on the government to ensure that the peace of the nation is jealously protected and kept.
FELIX DJAN FOH