The leadership of the opposition National Democratic Congress, (NDC) has described the President’s call for the two political parties to discuss ways to disband political vigilante groups as “flowery verbiage.”
According to the General Secretary of NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah, although the party welcomes the president’s decision for the two parties to meet over the menace, the party believes political vigilantism can only be solved if there is a genuine political will backed by Government’s actions.
The party was also of the view that there are already existing laws in the country capable of dealing with political hooliganism.
“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. We believe firmly that the existing laws of this country are adequate in dealing with the menace of political hooliganism. What is needed is a genuine political will backed by corresponding actions. President Akufo-Addo must therefore stop the empty rhetoric and act now.”
The NDC leadership also maintained their willingness to cooperate with the President’s directives if the government disbands what they describe as an illegal supposed armed force within the National Security Council which the president chairs.
The NDC is also asking the President and his government to remove people they also describe as NPP thugs and hoodlums from the various security agencies.
“…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. 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. 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.”
#SOTNGhana: Nana Addo’s address was disarming – Rawlings
Former President Jerry John Rawlings described President Nana Akufo-Addo’s 2019 state of the Nation address as one that has allayed all fears and suspicions about security in the country.
According to Mr. Rawlings, the two leading political parties in the country must heed to the President’s call to disband political vigilante groups in the country.
Mr. Rawlings who was at the 2019 state of the Nation address in the company of his wife, was seen conferring with and taking photographs with the President and the leadership of parliament post the President’s speech.
“President @NAkufoAddo’s #SONA2019 was disarming. I do hope the NDC @OfficialNDCGh, and the NPP @NPP_GH will heed the call to join forces in combating the scourge of party militias and violent vigilantism,” the Former President tweeted.
President Akufo-Addo delivering his 2019 State of the Nation address added his voice to calls by various civil society groups and international agencies for the two major political parties in the country to disband their vigilante groups.
President Nana Addo said he had instructed the leadership of his arty, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), to extend an invitation to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to discuss how to disband their respective vigilante groups.
The President said the phenomenon of political vigilantism could destabilize the country and reverse the democratic gains the country has made over the years.
“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,” he said.
Citing the recent violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency due to activities of politically-aligned vigilante groups, President Akufo-Addo promised to use legislation to stop the phenomenon if the two parties fail to stop it voluntarily.