‘Akufo-Addo’s approach to vigilantism fight hypocritical’ – Kakra Essamuah

KAKRA ESSAMUAH Lawyer Kakra Essam

Mon, 15 Apr 2019 Source: myxyzonline.com

The Director of Communications for the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says President Nana Akufo-Addo is not committed to disbanding the aggressive vigilante groups in the country’s political space.

Lawyer Kakra Essamuah, who disclosed this to Mugabe Maase, host of Inside Politics on Radio XYZ on Friday, observed the turn of events after the bloody Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election shows the “confusion state” of Akufo-Addo in relation to disbanding party militias.

A group of men believed to be members of pro-NPP vigilante groups merged with some state security agencies and caused mayhem during the election. More than 4 persons believed to be NDC supporters suffered severe wounds after shots were fired at them.

Sweltering from serious criticisms, President Akufo-Addo set up three-member commission of inquiry into the heinous crime which was chaired by Justice Emile Short, a former CHRAJ boss.

While the Commission was hearing testimonies from witnesses, Nana Akufo-Addo asked for a dialogue between NDC and his party, the NPP, to find a road map for the disbandment of the vigilante groups.

After the parties’ maiden meeting that was mediated by the National Peace Council (NPC), a legislation to disband vigilantism was laid in Parliament on behalf of the president.

The bill known as ‘Vigilantism and Related Offences Bill, 2019’ was laid under a certificate of urgency.

It is proposing a 10-25-year prison term for anyone who participates in the activities of a political party vigilantism with an offensive weapon.

Clause 3 of the legislation prohibits the formation, organization, operation or promotion of the formation, organization, operation or activities of a political party vigilante group. The clause further prohibits membership of a political party vigilante and participation in the activities of a political party vigilante group.

But Kakra Essamuah, who was part of the NDC’s representatives at the meeting over the disbandment of the vigilante groups, said the president’s steps towards the subject showed he’s confused.

“Akufo-Addo’s governance style shows he’s confused.. You set up a commission of inquiry on the issue and ask the Police to take the matter up yet the commission is done with its work and no single person has been picked up. Is this how we fight vigilantism?” Lawyer Essamuah questioned.

“The Commission’s report is still there. We don’t know what’s in it… and you send a legislation to Parliament.This is confusing,” he added.

To him, if Nana Akufo-Addo was committed to tackling vigilantism, he would go ahead to make the report public and act on it.

Kakra Essamuah’s comments come on the back of a similar backlash from his General Secretary, Mr. Johnson Asiedu Nketiah.

The NDC General Secretary believes the president is rubbishing the efforts of the political parties in quest to find a lasting solution to the menace of vigilantism which many have described as party militias.

He wondered why the Mr Akufo-Addo would appeal to the NDC to meet the NPP to agree on appropriate measures to bring an end to vigilantism and turn around and ask the Attorney General (AG) to lay a bill in parliament on the same matter.

The man [Akufo-Addo] is not willing to disband these groups. What he is doing is just like a window dressing to cover his guilt,” he told Kwame Minkah, host of Ete Sen Friday morning.

Although the bill is in fulfillment of a promise President Akufo-Addo made while presenting the state of the nation address this year, Mr Asiedu Nketiah argues that the move is a “populace” one, especially as the President has not made public the report of the commission of inquiry.

Mr Asiedu Nketiah said the president was not being truthful because he had said in Parliament that “Vigorous debate and the exchange of ideas [should be] the true basis of political dialogue” to dissolve all vigilante groups in the country yet a legislation was sent to parliament in his name on a subject he that was being tackled.

“He [Akufo-Addo] is only pretending…why did he ignore stakeholder engagement?” He questioned.

Source: myxyzonline.com
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