No ‘strategic advantage’ for NPP, NDC to set up vigilante groups–Kofi Abotsi

A former Executive Secretary to the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry on the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, Kofi Abotsi has cautioned that there is no ‘strategic advantage’ for the two leading political parties to set up vigilante groups whether they are in power or opposition because they have been counterproductive.

“Having those groups, you undermine your own claim to leadership because the constitution clearly has stated that nobody should set up a vigilante group, if you are in power, it flies in the face of logic you set up a vigilante group given all the sheer force of state you have behind you, if you are not in power, you give excuse to the one in power to go after you for having set it up,” he noted.

Mr Abotsi insisted that as the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) prepare to dialogue to end the activities of vigilante groups loyal to them, both parties must acknowledge political vigilantism poses a danger to the country’s democratic dispensation and be decisive in dissociating themselves from the groups in order to bring sanity into the political space.

“I think moving forward, there is the need for a stepping back of the two leading political parties who have apparently, at a certain level, either openly or tacitly admitted they benefit from the use of vigilante groups.

“There must be a certain reckoning or recognition that the groups are counter-productive, whether they are in power or out of power, despite the denial by both the NPP and NDC, they own the groups, some key activists have admitted they benefit from their activities,” Mr Abotsi stressed.

Refusing to comment on details of the commission’s report which is yet to be made public, he indicated that it reflected in many ways, what the citizenry saw from the live radio and television broadcasts of the hearing.

“What the commissioners did was to take the evidence, to review the evidence, put them together in a narrative that can be distilled for purposes of reform, a key legacy in establishment of the commission is demonstration of determination and desire by the President, to meet some challenges in governance paradigm.

“If there’s one major legacy of the commission, it represents significant intervention in political arrangement, constitutional arrangement and security arrangement to consolidate our democracy,” Mr Abotsi observed. –myjoyonline.com

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