The leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress says that the existing laws of the country are adequate in dealing with the scourge of political vigilantism.
“Even though we welcome the President’s call on us to meet with the NPP to discuss this matter, we do not believe that the phenomenon of political vigilantes, or better still militias, will be solved by dabbling in flowery verbiage,” the party said in a statement signed by the General Secretary, John Asiedu Nketiah.
The statement said the President must move beyond the rhetorics and show genuine and unwavering political will to stamp out the phenomenon.
Delivering his third State of the Nation Address in Parliament Thursday, President Akufo-Addo gave the leadership of the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress up to next week to dialogue over the issue else he will initiate legislation against vigilantism.
“I want to use the platform of this Message to make a sincere, passionate appeal to the leaders of the two main political parties in our country, NPP and NDC, to come together, as soon as possible, preferably next week, to agree on appropriate measures to bring an end to this worrying and unacceptable phenomenon of vigilantism in our body politic.
“I have asked the leadership of the NPP to extend an invitation to the leadership of the NDC for such a meeting on vigilantism. The security services of the country will be on standby to assist this meeting.
“If voluntary disbandment by the parties is not feasible, then I will initiate legislation on the matter. Vigorous debate and the exchange of ideas should be the true basis of political dialogue and competition in our country, not the activities of party vigilante groups. What was tolerated over the years cannot and must not be accepted anymore. We must not take our peace and security for granted— not for a moment. Our children and grandchildren will not forgive us if we were to compromise our peace and stability. I will not permit that to occur under my watch,” the President noted.
But the opposition NDC in its statement said notwithstanding its position, the NDC is willing and ready to direct its members to desist from constituting security groups on the following conditions:
1. That the Akufo-Addo government takes immediate steps to disband and disarm the illegal Armed Force being maintained by the National Security Council, which is chaired by no less a person than the President of the Republic of Ghana. Government must take deliberate steps to purge all security agencies of these NPP thugs and hoodlums.
2. That the Akufo-Addo Government immediately abandons its nefarious plans, and rather instruct all its
agents in the Regions to halt the State-sanctioned recruitment of political party thugs for the purpose of the 2020 general election.
3. That in addition, Government and the NPP publicly denounces and disbands, not just in word but also in deed, all their vigilante groups and political militias.