‘Political vigilante’ groups pose threat to security

A  security expert has criticised the formation of political vigilante groups by political parties and called for a dialogue to consider their disbandment.

Mr. Kofi Bentum Quantson, said the formation of such groups posed a security threat and the earlier something was done about it, the better it would be for the country.

“As it stands now, the groups are gradually increasing and becoming powerful, simply because they have not been sanctioned,” Mr. Quantson said.

Speaking to The Ghanaian Times in a telephone interview in Accra yesterday following the violence that characterized last Tuesday’s by-election at Talensi, he said the groups were becoming ‘goon squad’ because they derive their powers and support from the political parties.

The former Director of the Bureau of National Investigation (BNI), noted that until such groups were foiled and or have their leaders as well as leaders of their associates, (political parties) prosecuted, they would continue with such acts.

He said many of the political parties found the groups useful to champion their cause, hence their nefarious acts at every election period.

“Many political parties found them to be useful to execute their agenda and this is dangerous for the country’s democratic dispensation if it is not checked on time,” he stressed.

He alleged that the groups did not go out on their own to act, noting that because they derived their support from their political leaders as weapons, “they go all out to indulge in such acts knowing that they cannot be prosecuted”.

Mr. Quantson said that the time had come to disassociate criminality from politics which allowed politicians to bail people arrested for crime related offences, including political violence.

He said he was not surprised at the skirmishes, because prior to the election, the utterances and statements from political leaders clearly gave signal of what was expected to happen.

He, therefore, called on the security agencies to be firm and robust in their quest and to arrest and prosecute political vigilantes and their leaders.

By Francis Asamoah Tuffour

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