Dialoguing over vigilantism; NPP, NDC must heed President’s call

Last week, the President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his State of the Nation Address, called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to, as a matter of urgency, meet to dialogue to end political party vigilantism in the country.

The President gave the two major parties this week to meet and agree on appropriate measures to nip political vigilantism in the bud.

“If voluntary disbandment by the parties is not feasible, then I will initiate legislation on the matter, “President Akufo-Addo, told Parliamentarians in Accra.

The order by the President, although yet to materialise, has received approval from a vast majority of Ghanaians who see it as a viable option to end vigilantism in the country.

Political vigilantism has been at the centre of national discourse following a bloody violence which characterised the January 31, 2019 by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency and the shooting of two members of the NDC by assailants in Kumasi which left on person dead.

The President who obviously was worried about the activities of the vigilantes said “what was tolerated over the past years cannot and must not be accepted anymore” and called on the leadership of the two major parties to “come together shoulder to shoulder, hand in hand” and guided by the words of the national anthem which enjoins citizens to be steadfast in building the country.

Fortunately, the leadership of both NPP and the NDC agree in principle that the vigilantism menace must be brought to end, otherwise, it could spell doom for the country in the 2020 general election.

Indeed it is not only the two leading parties that are worried. The entire nation, including Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) and religious bodies, among others have expressed concern over the menace.

The Ghanaian Times joins the long line of those yearning for the disbandment of the vigilante groups and adds its voice to the call for the meeting to work towards ending political vigilantism in the country.

We are going to follow keenly the call by the President for the two parties to meet as early as this week and urge them to cease the opportunity to dialogue and deal with the menace once and for all. 

There should be no excuses and we look forward to a fruitful dialogue that would end the political party thuggery in the country.

Indeed, we hope that the two parties would attach all the seriousness that it deserves to the matter and openly and frankly discuss it in order to arrive at a suitable solution.

If they have the interest of the country at heart as they claim, they should put their personal interests aside and reach a compromise on the matter and commit to it.

Like the President said, “vigorous debate and the exchange of ideas should be the true basis of political dialogue and competition in our country, not the activities of party vigilante groups”.

We must all cease this opportunity to end one of the most dangerous cankers threatening the peace and the development of the country.

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