The shooting incident and its associated disturbances that took place yesterday at La Bawaleshie is shocking but not surprising.
The incident although did not result in the death of any of the victims, is a stark reminder of the degeneration of political contest in the country.
Although it does not surprise many anymore, if violence breaks out during partisan political contest, the deliberate deployment of agent provocateurs to polling stations is frightening and a threat to our democracy.
The needless tragic incident that left seven people injured must not only be condemned by all peace loving people, but emphasises the need to disband all political vigilante groups in the country.
If a by-election in one constituency can become violent with gun-tooting men invading polling stations and shooting at voters, then we must all be worried at what would happen in the 2020 general elections.
Already several security experts and ordinary Ghanaians have raised concerns about the activities of vigilante groups and the threat they pose to the country's democracy. But we all appear to turn deaf ears to it.
The experts have also, pointed out to the dangers that these armed groups are likely to pose to the 2020 general elections and if we are to believe them, then what happened yesterday should send a clear signal to everyone as to what we should expect.
Clearly, the activities of the vigilantes are a threat to national security which also paints a bad image of the country and likely to drive away potential investors and tourists.
Certainly, no one wants to invest or visit countries that are not safe and that is why the activities of the vigilante groups should be disbanded.
We cannot independently verify the identity of the perpetrators of violence at La Bawaleshie in order to apportion blame, but we condemn the act and call on the security agencies to be proactive in curtailing their activities.
There was no point for the bloodshed in yesterday's by-election and we are disappointed that no one has been apprehended for the violent act.
The Ghanaian Times is appealing to the security agencies and the political parties to work together to disband the armed groups immediately to forestall future violent activities during elections.
The 2020 elections may be two years away but it is, critical that all political parties are made to disband their vigilante groups, before they wreak havoc on us all.
As it is now, everyone is at risk and the earlier we act, the better it will be for us all in 2020 and beyond.
The incident yesterday is indeed a bloat on our democracy.