Attacks being carried out by vigilante groups supposedly affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), across the country, could scare away foreign investors, former NDC Member of Parliament for North Dayi, George Loh, has suggested.
Speaking on Citi FM’s news analysis programme, The Big Issue, Mr. Loh said: “These things[attacks] send such wrong signals internationally that if we are not careful, we might not even have people willing to do business in this country.”
There have been a series of attacks by various vigilante groups acting in the name of the NPP, since the party came into office in January 2017.
Nearly 20 illegal actions including violent attacks, have been carried out by these groups, despite verbal warnings from the President and various security chiefs against these unlawful acts.
Recently, some 13 members of the Delta Force, one of the vigilante groups affiliated to the governing party, were sentenced to a fine of GH¢1,800 each for vandalizing property at the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, and manhandling the Regional Security Coordinator.
Many have described the sentence as overly lenient and a recipe for more lawless acts.
Assigning reasons to these incessant attacks, Mr. Loh indicated that, these incidents had gone a notch higher because culprits “do not get punished for it, so this emboldens them to continue to do what they do.”
He therefore reminded the President to show more commitment in dealing with the canker by cracking the whip on suspects.
“I want to remind President Akufo-Addo that, if for nothing at all, he’s been fighting to be President, and now that he has become President, he should know he has a legacy as a human rights activist and setting up colleges that he prides himself with to protect.”
Military’s involvement needless
Mr. Loh also disagreed with an earlier suggestion by Security Analyst, Dr. Kwesi Anning, that the military should be involved in dealing with these groups, saying it was not within their remit to do so.
“I heard Dr. Anning saying soldiers must be brought in. First, it tells me that the Police administration should be scrapped because their remit is to protect us and ensure order, and if they cannot deal with people then what will be the use of the Police Service… I disagree with Dr. Anning.
The soldiers have their remit, they have their role they are supposed to play, they have their training and that is why we keep them in the barracks.”
In Mr. Loh’s view, the most effective way of tackling vigilantism is to “depoliticize” vigilante groups.