Vigilantism is an abuse of power – Kwesi Pratt
Veteran journalist and Managing Editor of the Insight Newspaper, Kwesi Pratt Jnr, has condemned the use of vigilantes by political parties describing the act as an official misconduct by party leaders.
Speaking at the ‘Aagbe Wo’ public forum, Kwesi Pratt said the country is moving at a dangerous alarming speed with the evolution of vigilantism and if care is not taken democracy will be destroyed.
Political vigilantism has become more or less a permanent feature in the Ghanaian politics, especially, in the last decade in the quest for political power.
These vigilante groups collaborate with the police to provide security during party events such as Congress, press conference and demonstrations.
Vigilantism became even more vibrant during the 2016 elections when Delta Force and Invincible Forces, and other vigilante groups associated with the governing New Patriotic Party went on a rampage, destroying public properties and attacking appointees of the president.
The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) in retaliation, endorsed the formation of a vigilante group known as The Hawks in the latter part of 2018.
Expressing concern, he said, “At this our level of vigilance, I’m afraid, I’m sad, I’m worried.”
Citing the Rwanda genocide and chaos in Haiti, where millions of people lost their lives, Kwesi Pratt predicted a similar case in Ghana if politicians do not eradicate this menace.
“Look around us, if we do not take action now to end this extreme foolishness of vigilantism, we will all live to regret, we will die to be forgotten. Look at Rwanda, they didn’t live to regret. They were forgotten.” He posited.
He challenged political leaders to be more concerned about the citizens, who usually become victims of the acts by the hoodlums, by finding ways on how to make the lives of the people better rather than clinging to power through vigilantism.
In his words, “You know for the big time politicians they should begin to think. You can’t import or buy 500 brand new pickups to carry all your campaigns. You can spend billions of cedis on your campaigns but all of that can go waste if you do not ensure that we live in a law-governed democracy and that the impunity of the vigilantes comes to an end.”