Why political parties are forming vigilante groups

Political vigilantism has become more or less a permanent feature in the Ghanaian politics, especially, in the last decade in the quest for political power.

Political party vigilantism dates back to the first republic under President Kwame Nkrumah where the opposition, United Party (UP) had what was called, ‘The Action Troopers.’

 

The then governing Convention People’s Party (CPP) had the ‘Veranda Boys’.

 

The UP formed the action troopers because there’s rising political violence against its members and felt compelled to protect their loyalists against Nkrumah’s hoodlums.

 

Political vigilantism has become more or less a permanent feature in the Ghanaian politics, especially, in the last decade in the quest for political power.

 

They are mainly desperate unemployed fanatics of politicians who are grouped to provide internal party security.

 

They often have dreaded names and funny nicknames.

 

In contemporary times, vigilantism started as boys who are loyal to influential political figures but has over time, been formalised and given recognition by the political parties to provide security.

 

During party events such as congress, press conference and demonstrations, these vigilante groups collaborate with the police to provide security.

 

They were largely restrained and limited to party activities until in 2016 when hell broke loose.

Delta Force and Invincible Forces, vigilante groups associated with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) went on a rampage, destroying public properties and attacking appointees of the president.

 

Early this week, it was reported that the General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has endorsed the formation of a vigilante group known as ‘The Hawks’.

 

There are also media reports on the formation of additional groups such as, ‘The Lions’ and the ‘The Dragons’ by the NDC.

 

The formation of these groups, the political parties have explained, is to provide security within the party.

 

However it is also largely due to the reluctance of the Ghana Police Service to investigate and prosecute crimes against opposition members or their properties.

 

Prior to coming into office in 2016, then opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP) were very clear that they do not trust the police.

 

The mistrust followed a series of unresolved chaos and confusion at the party’s head office.

 

Another reason for the formation of the vigilante groups is for the protection of ballot boxes during elections.

 

These vigilante groups provide the needed protection for the ballot boxes in the quest for political power.  –pulse.com.gh

 

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