PNC enraged over NPP, NDC vigilantism dialogue

Bernard Mornah, the Chairman of the Peoples’ National Convention (PNC) is enraged by the idea of the vigilante groups’ dialogue between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) describing the meeting as a “waste of our time and resources”.

According to him, “activities of political militia are criminal, their members and financiers should be dealt with under the law, why must NPP and NDC dialogue on what is wrong, my fear is the two parties are creating dangerous precedent because should NPP and NDC fade out, succeeding politicos may repeat exactly what they are doing today, simply using dialogue to solve criminal acts?”

Mr Mornah was also unimpressed with the Vigilantism and Related Offenses Bill 2019, which sought to outlaw the groups saying, “Laws already exist to deal with the hooliganism the groups engage in, however, if law enforcement institutions are strengthened and depoliticized, issues of political party militia will end.”

However, Abraham Amaliba, a member of the NDC’s legal team, dismissed the basis for Mr Mornah’s argument, insisting that the dialogue had solved conflict and related issues better than the law had and referenced the Dagbon conflict where Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II led three eminent chiefs to use dialogue to solve the decades-old chieftaincy dispute after Supreme Court rulings failed to do same.

“The dialogue will give the platform to unveil issues that may otherwise be buried.

On Monday, the NPP and the NDC agreed to include selected civil society organisations, clergy and security institutions in the talks to disband militia groups, however, an option to include other actors should current ones deem necessary.

The president gave the directive for the meeting after a by-election at the Ayawaso West Wuogon in Accra turned bloody when armed men stormed the residence of the NDC candidate, Delali Brempong.

There is a bill on the floor of Parliament to deal specifically with political violence and

the two parties have made headway in their dialogue on dealing with politically motivated violence.

On Monday, NPP and NDC agreed on scope of participation and modalities on how to disband the groups which carry out acts of violence on parties’ behalf, which commenced two months after the president directed them in his third State of the Nation Address.  

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