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More Ghanaians Call for Abolition of Vigilantism

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The call for political parties in the country to disband their vigilante groups has escalated as more personalities have added their voices to the discourse.

The latest of such calls came from Dr. Tony Aidoo, former Ghana Ambassador to the Netherlands during the Mahama administration, who has asked the two leading political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) to do away with their militant groups.

Speaking on Starr FM yesterday, he said “They are lawbreakers and I think they make the electorate, the general populace very unsafe. It doesn’t matter which party you belong to. Democracies are supposed to be very protective of life and property and I believe that it was about time that the government of the day took serious steps with the disbandment of these vigilante groups.”

He continued: “I think the discipline should start with disbanding the vigilante groups and that should cut across political party lines,”

According to Dr. Aidoo, who served as Senior Presidential Aide and Head of Policy Evaluation and Oversight Unit of the Office of the President from 2009 to 2013, “the fact that one party has vigilante groups does not mean that it should be a free-for-all”.

The activities of vigilantes have been on the rise in recent months, with the latest incident in October, where the Monitoring and Evaluation Minister, Hon. Anthony Osei Akoto, was attacked by members of the Delta Force in the Ashanti region. This led to several calls on political parties to disband the groups.

For instance, the chairperson of the NCCE, Ms. Josephine Nkrumah, called on security agencies to take appropriate steps to restore the faith of Ghanaians in the political system.

“We call on all security agencies, the security Minister, National Security Advisor to work together to restore the confidence of Ghanaians in security and law enforcement agencies.

“After 25 years of democratic governance, it is unacceptable for any group of persons to commit such acts that undermine the rule of law and democracy. No individual or group of persons can hold the country to ransom under the guise of political party vigilantism,” she said.

Mr. Bryan Acheampong, Minister of State in Charge of National Security, also vowed that vigilantism must be crushed.

“We as National Security… don’t recognise any of these vigilante groups apart from the Youth Wings of the political parties and any other institutions outside of these wings that do anything against the law would be dealt with just as it would be done to the recognised groups because law and order must be maintained in this country,” he stressed.

The National Youth Organiser of the NPP, Nana Boakye also called on security agencies to properly deal with people who stir up violence in the country.

The National House of Chiefs, Civil Society Groups (CSOs), and other institutions have also called for the disbandment of these groups to foster peace, unity and development in the country.

By: Jennifer Avemee

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