Legislation to ban political vigilante groups will still be necessary regardless of the consensus the New Patriotic Party and National Democratic Congress may reach on the matter, Dr. Kojo Asante, the Director of Advocacy and Policy Engagement at CDD, has said.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Nana Akufo-Addo urged the two major political parties to meet and discuss the prospect of disbanding all militia groups affiliated to them.
In an ultimatum, he said he will initiate legislation on the matter if the parties are unable to come to a voluntary solution.
On Eyewitness News, Dr. Kojo Asante said such a meeting will be a necessary short-term measure.
But he added that “legislation in the long term will have to come in to ensure that certain types of activities are prescribed and we need to think through that.”
“There is a certain type of criminal or grouping or mobilization that sort of traverses the realms of the right of association… At the minimum, there is some look at demobilization or banning or just denouncing all of those people and so forth.”
What Nana Addo said
Delivering his 2019 State of the Nation Address in Parliament, he said political vigilantism could destabilize the country
“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. 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.”