Former President Mahama has accused President AKufo-Addo of being the brain behind party vigilantes in the country alleging that his activities whiles in opposition helped their growth.
Former President Mahama insisted that the recent spate of vandalism and harm caused during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election by some persons alleged to be members of pro-NPP vigilante groups co-opted into the National Security only gives credence to his assertions.
John Mahama buttressed his allegations by citing a sequence of events including the deportation of three South African mercenaries from Ghana during the NDC government in the lead up to the 2012 elections.
“…the phenomenon of militant vigilantism is a creation of Akufo-Addo government. Not only his government, even as a candidate. They started this all die be die, if we don’t win Afghanistan and all those kinds of threatening things and urged their youth to be militant. We must win this election at all cost, they started it. And then you remember when we were in office in 2012 we deported three South African mercenaries, they were brought in here to train the invincible forces and Delta Forces and so really, Akufo-Addo is the father of militant vigilantism. That is the next level that this phenomenon has gotten to. For the first time we saw party vigilantes in uniform, in those black t-shirts and jeans trousers,” he detailed during an interview on Pro-NDC radio station, Radio Gold.
The former President made these remarks in response to President Akuf0-Addo’s plan he outlined during the State of the Nation Address to disband such political party militia.
"I want to use this platform of this message to make a sincere passionate appeal to the leaders of the two main political parties in our country NPP and NDC to come together as soon as possible, preferably next week to agree on appropriate measures to bring an end to this unacceptable phenomenon of vigilantism in our body of politics” Akufo-Addo stated.
He added, ”I have asked the leadership of the NPP to extend an invitation to the leaders of the NDC for such a meeting, the security services of the country will be on standby to assist this meeting. If political disbandment by the parties is not feasible then I will initiate legislation in the matter”.
However, Former President Mahama disagreed with the President’s approach saying that ‘it is not right’ despite admitting that it was a show of leadership and a form of initiative taken to end the menace.
“I think that the structure of what he is trying to do is not right. The two parties alone cannot deal with this issue because the state has become a part of it. The vigilantes they trained have been absorbed into the security services so now they are embedded in the security services. So if you say the party should disband the vigilantes that they have because on our side, some individuals not the party, because of what the NPP is doing have also come up with this hawks thing,” John Mahama explained.
A close contender of the former President in the internal race to elect a flagbearer to lead the NDC into the 2020 elections, Professor Joshua Alabi, however, disagrees with his former boss.
Professor Joshua Alabi disclosed that he holds a similar position as the president and has expressed willingness to engage President Akufo-Addo as leader of the NDC should he be elected by delegates on Saturday, February 23 2019.
In an interview on JoyFM, an Accra-based radio station, the former UPSA Vice-Chancellor mentioned, “About ten days ago in an interview on UTV, I told them that when I become flagbearer I am going to meet Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo one-on-one as leaders of the party for us to discuss it and I believe that he heard and put it in his speech.”
Former President Mahama despite having reservations about the structure of the plan by President Akufo-Addo recommended that “there are several other stakeholders that must be brought on board. We have the peace council, security experts who all have to be invited to the table to look at how to deal with it and how to delist the vigilantes who are in the security services already”.