Disbandment of political vigilantes: NPP invites NDC for meeting

The ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) has invited the main opposition party, National Democratic Congress (NDC) to meet this week to discuss ways to clamp down on political vigilantism in the country.

This was contained in a letter signed by the General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu, and addressed to the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo in Accra yesterday.

It stated that the NPP was aware of the NDC’s request to expand the scope of the engagement to include multiple stakeholders and assured that it was ready to engage with the NDC on the various stakeholders to be invited in the subsequent meetings.

The letter added that the invitation was necessitated by President Nana Akufo-Addo’s call during the 2019 State of the Nation’s Address as well as legitimate concerns raised by Ghanaians on the need for the two political parties to disband political vigilante groups in the interest of the nation.

It said since the call by the President, National Chairman of the NPP, Freddie Blay, has been in constant conversations with Mr Ofosu-Ampofo on the subject adding that “we think that the time is now rife for the parties to hold this crucial meeting, which the nation has been looking forward to.”

The letter asked the NDC to choose a convenient and suitable venue for the meeting.

Earlier, in a letter to President Akufo-Addo, Mr Ofosu-Ampofo welcomed his call and insinuated it was long overdue.

He noted that the move must even be widened to cover all political parties as well as civil society organisations, the media, police, military and other relevant stakeholders.

The NDC National Chairman further suggested that a mediator of “national credibility” must be appointed for the dialogue and proposed that the National Peace Council be appointed as the mediator for such a meeting.

He also suggested that the Kofi Annan International Peace Training Centre (KAIPTC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Institute for Democratic Governance (IDEG) join the efforts by the Peace Council.

“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,” Mr Ofosu-Ampofo added.

In his response, President Nana Akufo-Addo noted that he has instructed the Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, to prepare and submit to Parliament, a specific legislation to deal with the phenomenon of political violence.

The legislation will also provide sanctions against anyone or group of persons who engage in such violence in the name of vigilantism. 

President Akufo-Addo, in the letter, said his decision was without prejudice to the outcome of the engagement, if any, between the two political parties.

By Times Reporter

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