Fixing land tenure system will eradicate party militias – Sam George
The country’s poor land tenure system has been partly blamed as the cause of the growing menace of party militia.
According to Ningo Prampram legislator, Sam Nartey George, those who engaged in party militia activities are mostly land guards who become more active during the political season.
On his second day of testifying before the Emile Short Commission tasked to investigate the chaos that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, he said fixing the land tenure system will end the phenomenon.
“That automatically drops the supply of these men who lend themselves to firearms and use them for other things.
“Once there is a decrease in that market, then whichever politician who has an interest in building a private army of some sort will not have the supply of men,” he said.
Mr Nartey George said an improvement in the system will mean people who want to acquire land will do the necessary search to know who owns the land, there will be no need for land guards.
Although a plausible recommendation, Patrick Kwateng Acheampong, a member of the Commission specifically demanded a short-term measure to deal with the menace.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC) MP who was a victim of an assault in the January 31 incident said, it is time political parties in the country take the bull by the horn to name and shame such people who take such action in their names.
“The media is replete with politicians taking ownership of many of these groups so naming and shaming them will go a long way [to addressing this]. I can give you names of several examples of politicians who have taken ownership of these groups and many of them occupy or have occupied prominent positions in the country.
“If we are always talking about the issue of ‘landguardism’ or private militias and the people who these militias serve to continue to be beneficiary of political power and the spoils of state, without mentioning and going after those people, it is a pretentious exercise,” he stated.
Mr Nartey George voted his support for the Commission’s fight against such groups and appealed to political parties not to engage the services of such men as the country goes into an election year in 2020.
“It is a call I will help you to make and we will hope that the Ghana Police Service in whom we will then repose our trust, will be professional in the discharge of providing security for those who seek political office,” he said.