NDC Backs Vigilantism …Chairman Says Party Relies On ‘Thugs’ For Security
Vice Chairman of Ghana’s largest opposition political party, National Democratic Congress (NDC), Chief Sofo Azorka, has rejected calls to disband political party vigilante groups in the country, including his own ‘Azorka Boys’.
The NDC big wig is therefore making a strong case for these groups to freely operate as and when the need be.
His call comes at a time when many civil society organisations have called on both the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition NDC to end acts of vigilantism by disbanding their vigilante groups.
According to him, he no longer believed the Ghana Police Service had the welfare of his party at heart, and would rather opt for the proliferation of more vigilante groups.
Sofo Azorka’s call may not come as a surprise to political observers and students of history, as many people have all along linked him to the foundation of political thuggery under the Fourth Republican dispensation.
Security experts have suggested that the existence of vigilante groups poses a threat to the country’s democracy, but speaking on the side-lines of the massive ‘Aagbe Wor’ demonstration held in Accra yesterday, Chief Azorka said he does not support the dissolution of such groups, saying vigilantism is something his party relies on for security.
“The police cannot do their work because political dey inside…police is guarding the NPP boys with riffles and the NPP boys are shooting innocent people,” he said.
When asked what he would do since he had lost confidence in the police, the NDC vice chairman said, “When the time comes we will defend ourselves… I am not police but I’m more than police. I am well trained.”
Emotions seemed to have stirred in the heart of the ‘Azorkor boys’ initiator following the violence that ensued at last Thursday’s Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections, in which six NDC supporters were shot and wounded by security personnel. According to him, the attack on his party had ‘rekindled their spirit’.
Although the party did not retaliate on the Election Day, Azorka noted that it was not a sign of weakness, but rather a call to be “vigilant and awake for the party.”
“If you are asleep and somebody comes to wake you up by tapping you, is that a crime?” he asked.
“These NPP people just woke us up. We won’t sleep again but they will sleep if the time comes,” he said.
By Grace Ablewor Sogbey