The National Commission of Civic Education called on the two major political parties to heed on the call for unconditional disbandment of vigilante groups in the country.
Speaking at the launch of report on vigilante groups after consulting after broad consultations with stakeholders, the chairperson for NCCE said that failure of political parties to curb vigilante groups will be a major threat to the 2020 general elections.
She revealed that even though vigilante groups have been in existence even before the 4th republic, they served as security to ballot boxes and to protect party office holders.
However, she added that the groups in recent times have become a threat to democracy in the country.
She said, “the group has now metamorphosed into a group of lawless individuals with total disregard for the rule of law, often infringe in the human rights of citizens in the country”.
Josephine Nkrumah added that the mistrust of security agencies in the country as well as lack of employment are contributing factors to the increasing emergence of political vigilantes in the country.
She revealed that after meeting with various stakeholders, short, medium and long term solutions have been recommended.
They recommend that the National Peace Council in collaboration with political parties must identify and register members of the vigilante groups for the purpose of reintegration or settlement.
She added that the long term solution will be legal and constitutional reforms that could ensure independence in the appointment process of heads of security agencies.
Also, government through the Ministry of Zongo Development, has been urged to develop robust employment strategies to deal with the unemployment situation in the Zongos and ensure that there is a comprehensive job creation policy that addresses the youth at all levels.
Over 12 stakeholder including the National Peace Council, the office of the Chief Imam, Judiciary, both the NDC and the NPP, the police service and other institutions were consulted to address the issue of political vigilantism.
Meanwhile, the National Peace Council (NPC), under the Chairmanship of the Most Reverend Prof. Emmanuel Asante, is scheduled to meet with the two leading political parties the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will on Tuesday, April 9, 2019 to mediate in the matter of political vigilantism in the country.
The meeting follows a consensus reached by the NPP and NDC to make the NPC the mediator in the matter of political vigilantism that has become a matter of prime national security concern.