Emile Short Commission to end political violence – Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has expressed confidence in the Emilie Short Commission of Inquiry, stating that he is hopeful recommendations made by the four-member commission will help rid the country of activities of lawless individuals and vigilante groups.

Presenting his third State of the Nation Address on the floor of Parliament on Thursday, President Akufo-Addo said findings from the Commission will present a fresh start for Ghana in finally clamping down on activities of these persons.

“The only way in our system to begin to deal with such a situation is through the work of a Commission of Inquiry.

“I hope the findings and recommendations of the Emile Short Commission will enable us to chart a path to ending politically-related violence in our country,” President Akufo-Addo said.

“The time has come to put an end to the phenomenon of politically-related violence,” he added.

The Emile Short Commission of Inquiry was established by the president to investigate incidents of violence which occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on January 31, 2019. The violence led to the shooting of some persons with others being attacked by security personnel.

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Many have attributed such incidents of politically motivated violence to lawlessness in the country.

President Akufo-Addo said such incidents of violence and lawlessness in the country will be dealt with by the appropriate security agencies in order to bring perpetrators to book.

Political vigilantism

Speaking about the growing menace of political vigilantism in the country, President Akufo-Addo condemned such activities and called on all political parties to call their members to order and disband groups within their political parties.

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“I want to make a sincere, passionate appeal to the leaders of the two main political parties in our country, the 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 politics.

“I have asked the leadership of the NPP to extend an invitation to the leadership of the NDC for such a meeting,” the president said.

He also noted if all these combined efforts from the political parties do not put an end to the menace, he would pass a legislation to deal with the issue.

“If voluntary disbandment by the parties is not feasible, then I will initiate legislation in the matter…”

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President Akufo-Addo said he will not allow the issue of vigilantism to persist under his administration.

“What was tolerated over the years cannot and must not be accepted anymore. We must not take our peace and security for granted. Our children and grandchildren will not forgive us if we were to compromise our peace and stability. I will not permit that under my watch.”