General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia, believes it will take more than just a meeting between his party and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the issue of political vigilantism to be solved.
He said he does not subscribe to the notion that a mere meeting between the two main political parties would bring a solution.
He explained that political vigilante elements have infiltrated the ranks of the state security and the best way to reverse the situation is to cleanse the state security.
"When the state security is neutral, then they can now be used to implement the laws that already exist against the formation of private army, private vigilantes and so on," Mr Nketia told Accra-based Citi FM.
The NDC General Secretary was speaking in relation to President Akufo-Addo call on the NPP and NDC to meet to discuss how to disband their respective vigilante groups.
He said the best way for President Akufo-Addo to prove his commitment is to allow state institutions to fight the menace, rather than call for a meeting between the NDC and NPP.
He added: “And so we believe that instead of calling a meeting of two political parties to talk about vigilante, he [President Akufo-Addo] should act and allow the state institutions to act.”
“It must begin from the president taking action to cleanse the state institutions of these vigilante elements because, he has recruited so many of them and embedded party vigilantes within the state security.”
The President said political vigilantism, if not stopped, could destabilise the peace in 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,” the President said during Thursday’s State of the Nation Address.
However, Mr Nketia said he was disappointed with the President’s take on political vigilantism.
He noted that the President has not shown enough commitment to curb vigilantism in the country despite his call on the two main political parties.
“The impression I get is that, here, we are with a president who actively participated in recruiting and training of vigilante groups, trained in state facilities, armed with state resources and are moving around in state vehicles, and in effect, embedding his own party vigilante into the state security and now distances himself from the problem and is now calling for two powerless political parties to go and meet,” Mr Nketia stated.
He added that the President’s speech on political vigilantism was just a knee-jerk reaction “to demonstrate to the international community that something is being done but the reality of the situation is that, vigilantes have done so much harm, and there is sufficient evidence there for state security to take action and state security is dragging their feet and claiming openly that their hands are tied by government.”
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