Government has presented to Parliament, a Legislative Instrument to deal with political party vigilantism in the country.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo laid the legislation on behalf of government in line with President Akufo-Addo’s declaration on ending political vigilantism in Ghana’s body politic.
Before the Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye referred the L.I. to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee, he indicated that the Attorney General and government had made an express request to have the legislation considered under a certificate of urgency.
The Speaker thus asked the relevant committee to determine whether it is of urgent nature or not.
“…Honourable Members, with our Standing Order 119 in relation to the urgency or otherwise of the Bill, for the purposes of its consideration by Parliament, it is the prerogative of the relevant Committee of Parliament…The House shall await the determination of the Committee of Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs [on the Bill]….tomorrow, Friday 12th April 2019,” the Speaker read on the Floor of Parliament.
NPP, NDC agree to end Political Vigilantism
The two major political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) on the first day of the dialogue to end political vigilantism which was mediated by the Peace Council, emphasized the need to stop the activities of political vigilante groups in the country.
The NPP and the NDC among other things also agreed to stop the ownership. hiring and the utilization of vigilante and or militia groups by political members.
The chairman of Tuesday’s meeting, Samuel Kwadwo Boateng Asante reading a summary of the outcome of the dialogue to the media said: “After an open and exhaustive deliberation, the parties agreed that vigilantism is inimical to Ghana’s system and must be eradicated...”
“Significantly, both parties agreed to engage in deliberations aimed at:
1.Disbanding vigilante groups operating within political parties or for political purposes.
2. Prohibiting the ownership, hiring or utilization of such groups by the political parties or members thereof;
3.Cooperating with state agencies and stakeholders in the total eradication of such groups or incidence of vigilantism in the country,” he added.
According to him, the phenomenon which has become deeply rooted in the country’s politics cannot simply be addressed with legislation.
“Legislation will just not end this process. It has gotten root in our society, creates economic incentives and people use that. And therefore we need a sober, long-term process in which we will create trust first, come round the table start having the conversion and then begin a dis-aggregation process of the specific issue areas that we need to tackle. That takes a lot of time,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo in delivering his 2019 State of the Nation Address in Parliament, said he had instructed the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) which he belongs to, to extend an invitation to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to discuss how to disband their respective vigilante groups.
President Akufo-Addo said the phenomenon of political vigilantism has the potential of destabilizing the country and reversing the democratic gains the country has made over the years.
This was after some masked armed men fired at some residents near the La Bawaleshie polling station during the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency.