Political party leaders source of vigilantism–Ace Ankomah

A private legal practitioner, Ace Ankomah has suggested that President Nana Akufo-Addo and his predecessors be made to lead the process of resolving the menace of political party militia.

According to him, the political parties and their leaders are the “source” of these illegal groups and therefore are best placed to solve the problem.

But the two leading political parties, National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP), have denied owning party militias, claiming they

[the militia]

own allegiance to individuals in the party instead.  Ankomah is not convinced. 

“You may not own them directly on paper but you know the boys, you know when to harvest them and use them,” he said.

Mr Ankomah’s comments come at a time there is public outcry against party militarism.  

Proffering a solution to the menace, Mr Ankomah suggested that “President Akufo-Addo, and former Presidents Dramani Mahama, Agyekum Kufuor and Jerry Rawlings go into conference with the national chairmen of the two biggest parties until they find a solution, no mediator should be added, they should mediate among themselves”.

This follows the January 31 by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, which turned bloody after some armed men stormed the residence of the opposition NDC candidate. The two main political parties have pointed accusing fingers at each other as being behind the melee. 

While a presidential commission chaired by Emile Short, a former Commissioner of Human Rights and Administrative Justice is investigating what caused that violence, a member of the opposition NDC-affiliated militia, the Hawks recently shot and killed another NDC sympathiser at the Ashanti regional office of the party when the national executives had gathered to resolve a misunderstanding among the regional executives.

A Joy News premiered a documentary by celebrated investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni on how a private militia aligned to the governing NPP uses the former seat of government, the Osu Castle as its breeding grounds.

President Akufo-Addo has proposed a meeting of the two leading political parties aimed at voluntarily disbanding their militias failing which he will pass legislation to that effect.

However, contrary to the wishes of the President, the NDC has amended his proposal to include all political parties, security organisations, civil society and the national peace council. 

Akufo-Addo “surprisingly,” described this request as lacking basis. –

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