Ghana’s former Ambassador to the Netherlands in the Mahama administration, Dr Tony Aidoo, has admonished all political parties in Ghana, including his own, the National Democratic Congress (NDC), to disband all their vigilante groups.
In his view, the two main political parties, the NDC and the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), cannot keep vigilante groups in their fold since it does not foster discipline.
“I think the discipline should start with disbanding the vigilante groups and that should cut across political party lines,” he said on Tuesday, 20 November 2018.
According to Dr Aidoo, who served as a Senior Presidential Aide and Head of Policy Evaluation and Oversight Unit of the Office of the President from 2009 to 2013, “It is time these vigilante groups are outlawed”.
The former Ambassador emphasised that: “The fact that one party has vigilante groups does not mean that it should be a free-for-all”.
“They are lawbreakers and I think they make the electorate, the general populace very unsafe. It doesn’t matter which party you belong to. Democracies are supposed to be very protective of life and property and I believe that it was about time that the government of the day took serious steps with the disbandment of these vigilante groups,” he told Accra-based Starr FM.
Civil Society Groups (CSOs), the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and other critics have strongly cautioned political parties against the use of vigilante groups, as they believe their existence defeats the practice of democracy in modern times.