NDC explains absence from vigilantism dialogue

The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has stated that it was unable to attend discussions on the draft roadmap to address political vigilantism in the country because its National Chairman and delegation leader, Ofosu Ampofo, had a court appearance.

It said the party normally tried to juggle the two commitments because there have been previous occasions where it has been able to combine them, however, anytime there was a court appearance that coincided with the Peace Council meeting, it attended court first before if there was sufficient time, it continues.

Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the NDC, who offered an explanation, insisted that it didn’t appear from the beginning that the court appearance would cause the party’s inability to be there completely, it expected to appear in court and subsequently, proceed to the meeting.

“The deliberations are at an important stage for Mr Ampofo to send a stand-in, we have come to the critical point where we are about summarising proceedings and drawing conclusions, it is absolutely necessary for the leader of our delegation to be personally present,” he indicated.

By the end of the deliberations on Thursday, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which is the other main political party stakeholder, had accepted the roadmap in principle with the outcome expected to be formally conveyed to the NDC.

The roadmap, known as the code of ‘conduct on political vigilantism’, has been developed by a Technical Committee as part of ongoing dialogue aimed at ending political vigilantism.

The dialogue was instituted by the National Peace Council following the violence that erupted at the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency by-election in the Greater Accra Region on January 31, 2019.

In addition to the deliberations, the president also gave his assent to the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019, in September, which bans acts of vigilantism in the country which also disbands vigilante groups, including political party vigilante groups and land guards.

Per the law: “a person who directly or indirectly instigates or solicits the activity of a vigilante, facilitates or encourages vigilantism, or conceals a vigilante to avoid lawful arrest, commits an offence, and is liable, on conviction, to a term of imprisonment of not less than 10 years and not more than 15 years.” -citinewsroom.com

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