General News of Tuesday, 27 November 2018
National Organiser for the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Sammy Awuku has rejected assertion by security analysis Dr. Kwesi Aning, that the use of political vigilantes in the country is a threat to democracy.
Dr. Kwesi Aning, who was speaking at a public forum organized by pressure group, ‘Let My Vote Count Alliance’ alleged that the bold and daring nature of these vigilante groups operating with clear disregard for the rule of law will throw the country into chaos if the checked.
But arguing his case, Mr. Awuku insists, political vigilantism was not out of hand as being implied.
According to him, it is rather the security agencies that must be checked to act professionally in the delivery of their duties and responsibilities.
“I am one of the people who will blame the security agencies for their lackadaisical attitude and the reluctance on their part to even enforce the laws of our country. Sometimes when you expect the security agencies to act, there are careful because they feel that they also have to protect their position or safeguard their promotion because nobody wants to be transferred. But in spite of all this, I also disagree with people who will postulate that we have reached security crises, I don’t think so. I think the current situation can be nipped in the bud. The situation we find ourselves in are not unsurmountable. The conditions we face today might be fearsome but as a country so are our strength.” He added.
On her part, Josephine Nkrumah, the Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), recounted some threats she has faced in the past for openly condemning political party vigilante groups.
She urged Ghanaians especially women and the youth to join the call for a total disbanding of political vigilantism arguing, “they will fall victims of such acts should it get out of control”.
“There is a gender dimension to vigilantism in Ghana, it is obvious that the perpetrators are often men and the women, sisters, girlfriends, and wives who must speak up against it are sitting down. We forget that vigilantism affects all of us, even though women end up suffering the most. I wake up every day with a sense of anxiety wondering when vigilantes will next strike and wondering whether somebody I know or myself will be a causality. That is how I wake up feeling because we don’t understand how much this is a threat on our natural security.”
Over the past decade, the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) have been found guilty of the formation of vigilante groups which many have described as a worry.
While President Akufo-Addo has condemned the action of these groups and has called on the inspector general of police to take action against them, not much seems to have been done.
Ahead of the recently organised National Delegates’ Congress for the NDC, a new group was inaugurated, although the party has distanced itself from their actions.
But adding his voice, Convener of Let My Vote Count Alliance, David Asante said it was important for talks of vigilantism and its consequences on the country to be discussed till the canker is eliminated.
He urged all stakeholders to be passionate about vigilantism in Ghana and its effect on our democracy.