The National Commission on Small Arms and Light Weapons has launched its public education and sensitization program dubbed “Ballots without Bullets” at the Alisa Hotel.
The Ballots without Bullets Campaign is an election related advocacy project on the dangers of small arms abuse.
Over the years, the Small Arms Commission has committed itself to embarking on series of campaigns, which focuses on the dangers of the proliferation of small arms.
In addressing the media, the Executive Secretary of the Commission, Mr. Jones Applerh stated that the essence of the campaign is to influence the behaviour of Ghanaians through public education and sensitization on the dangers of the abuse of guns before, during and after the election and generally to our society going forward.
He revealed that the Ghana Police Service has identified Four Thousand and Ninety Eight (4,098) hotspots across the country. Regions with the highest hotspots included Ashanti with 635 flashpoints, 537 flashpoints in Central, 405 in Eastern and 323 and 321 in Western and Volta Regions respectively. He attributed the porous nature of Ghana’s borders as being the major source of illicit arms flow in the country.
The project will target ten (10) hotspots constituencies, which compromises of Three (3) border constituencies and Seven (7) non- border constituencies.
The border constituencies include; Jirapa, Ketu South and Banda whilst Odododioodo, Awutu Senya East, Asawase, Offinso-North, Ho Central, Effutu and Lower West Akim which are the non-border constituencies.
In delivering his keynote address, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Ibn Chambas, Special Representative of the Secretary-General for West Africa and the Sahel and the Head of UNOWAS, pointed out that in order for the country to achieve a peaceful election, it is imperative to address any challenges that may undermine that.
According to him, the 2020 Presidential and Parliamentary Election presents both an opportunity and a threat to our burgeoning democracy as this election will be the 8th time in the 4th Republic which will further consolidate the democratic gains and the level of resilience as Ghanaians.
The Commission in considering the increasing trend of small arms proliferation and the rising appetite for arms acquisition in Ghana called on all stakeholders to rally behind the Government and the Commission in its effort to fight against arms proliferation in the country.
Other speakers at the event included; The Chargé d’ Affaires of the Embassy of Federal Republic of Germany to Ghana, H.E Mr. Helge Sander, UNDP Officer in Charge, Silke Hollander, Charles Abani, UN Resident Coordinator for Ghana, The Director-General for Special Duties at the Ghana Police Service COP Christian Tetteh Yohuno, Electoral Commission Deputy Chairperson, Dr. Bossman Asare and others.
Ballots without Bullets Campaign is in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program and funded by the German Federation Foreign Office.