President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has tasked the leadership of both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to meet and deliberate on vigilante groups in the country.
He noted that there was the need to heed to calls by the citizenry to disband all vigilante groups as a matter of urgency.
Making reference to the by-election violence in Chereponi, Talensi, Atiwa, President Akufo-Addo pointed out that Ghanaians had experienced too much violence in by-elections.
The president’s comments comes on the back of the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election that turned bloody with shooting incident by masked men wearing National Security Council uniforms on January 31, 2019.
The government has subsequently set up a three-man commission under the Chairmanship of Justice Emile Short, a former Commissioner of the Commission of Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ) to investigate the matter within a month.
Other members are Professor Henrietta Mensah Bonsu, a former Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana and Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, a former Inspector General of Police (IGP) with Kofi Abotsi, a former Dean of the Law Faculty, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) as Executive Secretary.
In the president’s State of the Nation’s Address yesterday in Parliament, President Akufo-Addo indicated that “I have asked the leadership of the NPP to extend an invitation to the leadership of the NDC for such a meeting on vigilantism and the security services will be on standby to assist the meeting”.
“If voluntary disbandment by the parties is not feasible, then I will initiate legislation on the matter, vigorous debate and exchange of ideas should be the true basis of political dialogue and competition in our country, not the activities of party vigilante groups.
“What was tolerated over the years cannot and must not be accepted anymore, we must not take our peace and security for granted, not for a moment because our children and grandchildren will not forgive us if we were to compromise our peace and stability and I will not permit that to occur under my watch,” President Akufo-Addo cautioned.