Outcome of vigilantism disbandment dialogue failed to meet our expectations – NDC

The outcome of the first meeting between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic (NDC) to disband party militia affiliated to them failed to meet expectations of the NDC.

Although some progress was achieved at Tuesday’s meeting, the NDC had expected more from the first of many engagements on the roadmap to end party vigilantism.

In response to a directive by the president, the two main political parties met to begin a process to disband all militia groups affiliated to them and was mediated by the National Peace Council in Accra.

The two parties are scheduled to have a second meeting on April 29, 2019 following a first meeting held on Tuesday with the National Peace Council (NPC) to discuss how to disband vigilante groups associated with them.

They were led by their National Chairmen, NPP’s Freddie Blay and Samuel Ofosu Ampofo for NDC.

According to Asiedu Nketia, the General Secretary of the NDC pointed out that “I wouldn’t say I am totally happy about the outcome of the meeting but half a loaf is better than none so I would say we will take the progress that has been made as an achievement and find ways of building on what we have achieved.

“The NDC went into the talks hoping the NPP has accepted to involve multiple stakeholders in the militia disbandment process, but that was not the case” he lamented however, quoting from a letter the NPP wrote to the NDC prior to the meeting, he stressed that “the NPP has made the submission in the March 15, 2019 letter which stated that ‘we have also taken notice of your request to expand the scope of the engagement to include multiple stakeholders.

 “We wish to assure you the NPP avails itself for this consideration at the meeting which will afford the two parties the opportunity to agree on various stakeholders to be invited in the subsequent engagements,” it said.

Asiedu Nketia indicated that “the NDC went into Tuesday’s meeting thinking, per the above statement in the letter, the NPP has shifted its position from the dual party engagement to consideration for multiple stakeholder engagement, but was not the case.

The NPP, he said held its ground on limiting the deliberations on party militias the two main political parties. Mr Asiedu Nketia said that was unfortunate but said the two parties will build on the progress made.

Buabeng Asamoah, Communications Director of the NPP, hinted of another meeting on April 29, 2019 with venue yet to be determined. However, he was appreciative “for the first time we sat down around one table, it has always been adversarial but in this instance we sat down for more than four and half hours talking with each other and I think it is a major step forward.

Meanwhile, in a communiqué issued after the meeting, the National Peace Council said both parties have agreed to engage in the deliberations.

The President had urged the parties to expressly disband militias affiliated to them, or be compelled to clamp down heavily on armed groups affiliated to the parties. The directive came on the back of the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in February.

-myjoyonline.com/ peacefmonline.com

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