Ending party militia: Akufo-Addo dismayed by NDC demands

The President, Nana Akufo-Addo has said he is dismayed by the conditions the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has given for his proposed meeting to end political party militias.

In a response to NDC National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, the president said he is sure the Ghanaian people share his dismay that the two major political parties cannot meet and trash the matter out without mediators, “no matter how well-meaning”.

Akufo-Addo also said he sees no basis in the request of Mr. Ofosu Ampofo for other political parties, civil society, representatives of the media et al. to be invited to the dialogue since no ‘vigilante’ groups are associated to such bodies.

“Political party vigilante activity in this country has, unfortunately, been associated with the NDC and the NPP,” the President wrote.

What else did the President write?

Nana Akufo-Addo also dismissed concerns raised by the Ofosu Ampofo that the meeting of the political parties could be in conflict with the work of the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry.

The Commission is investigating recent violence during Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

The violence has been rumoured to be linked to the NPP affiliated militia group, the Invincible Forces.

The President also rubbished the assertion by the NDC Chairman that evidence Short Commission reveal that NPP sponsored vigilantes have been absorbed into the National Security.

Akufo-Addo noted that such an assertion is prejudicial to the report of the Commission.

What did Ofosu Ampofo say?

The Chairman of the NDC wrote to the President in response to the latter’s request for the two major political parties to meet over the party militia menace.

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In the letter, Ofosu Ampofo said his party was ready to avail itself “whenever, at the pleasure of Your Excellency and at a venue convenient for the purpose.”

But they demanded that other groups including civil society be invited as well.

The NDC also requested that the Chairman of the National Peace Council be made to chair such deliberation.

“Your Excellency, I believe that with these as mediator and facilitators, we can look forward to a robust interaction that can only culminate in a successful resolution of the matter,” the NDC Chairman said.

What next?

President Akufo-Addo in his State of the Nation Address in February, stated that should voluntary disbandment of these groups fail, he will “initiate legislation on this matter.