NDC declines to sign NPC’c document on vigilantism

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) yesterday declined to append its signature to the roadmap and code of conduct for the eradication of political party vigilantism in the country.

The event organised by the National Peace Council (NPC) was to afford the two main political parties, NDC and New Patriotic Party (NPP), to sign the document and commit themselves to ending the menace before, during and after the 2020 elections.

However, the NDC led by Mr Alex Segbefia stated that major stakeholders including the Small Arms Commission, Judiciary, Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), National Commission on Civic Education, (NCCE), Ghana Police Service, Electoral Commission (EC), diplomatic corps and civil society organisations should have been signatories to the document.

This, he said would ensure that the roadmap was followed to maintain peace in the country.

The code of conduct and roadmap to end political vigilantism was developed by a technical committee constituted by the NPC following the Ayawaso West by-election violence.

The NDC team at the signing ceremony which included Mr Kofi Totobi Quakyi, Mrs Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, Abraham Amaliba  and Mr Segbefia said the signing ceremony was premature because the party was of the view that all outstanding issues have not been exhausted.

The roadmap, Mr Segbefia explained had 22 recommendations and four of those related to political parties, 18 others had to do with including government, civil society organisations, the EC, the NCCE but none of these were signatories to the document.

He noted that going ahead to sign the document without the inputs of other stakeholders would cripple the effectiveness of the road map.

“If you look at the communiqué already signed with the NPC, it actually covers the four items that are directly related to political parties, there must therefore be a way of ensuring that the recommendation are respected and adhered to, ” he added.

The Chairman of the NPC, Most Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante acknowledged that the roadmap involved other institutions and assured the NDC that the other stakeholders would be roped in to ensure strict adherence to end political party vigilantism.

Rev Prof Asante said the decision taken by the NDC would not be the end of the roadmap .

The Secretary General of the Ghana Catholic Bishops Conference, Rev Father Lazarus Anondee urged political parties to commit themselves to eradicating political vigilantism in the country.

The General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, Rev Dr Cyril G.K Fayose said the Council would continue to support the peace initiatives of the NPC and urged political parties to be committed to the course of eradicating vigilantism and sustaining the peace the country was currently enjoying.

Sheikh Armiyawo Shaibu on behalf of the Chief Imam commended the NDC for not giving up on the roadmap as there was still unfinished business to be tackled.

 “The peace of Ghana should not be taken for granted, the country’s neighbours are having their fair share of conflicts, let us maintain the peace for a prosperous socio-economic development,” he said.

The General Secretary of the NPP, John Boadu who signed on behalf of his party expressed regret for the NDC’s refusal to sign the document.

BY LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU

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