Monitor activities of vigilante groups - Dr Attuquayefio
A Senior Research Fellow at the Legon Center for International Affairs and Diplomacy (LECIAD) says the National Security must monitor the activities of various vigilante groups in the country as the November 7 polls approach.
Dr. Philip Attuquayefio notes that activities of these vigilante groups constitute a major threat to national security.
He said if they are not monitored and regulated, they could get out of control.
“These vigilante groups' actions are completely out of our laws” he said urging national security to clampdown on their activities to protect Ghanaians.
Dr. Attuquayefio was speaking Wednesday on Adom FM’s Burning Issues programme on the controversies surrounding the deportation of three South African nationals.
The three South African ex-police men were arrested by the BNI and detained for almost a week on charges of unlawful training (of Nana Akufo-Addo's security force) and conspiracy to commit crime.
The BNI said the training posed a threat to national security.
Although a court granted them bail, the BNI kept them and suddenly deported them, a situation Dr Attuquayefio finds surprising.
Ghana’s politics is awash with vigilante groups and private security personnel.
Their sole purpose is to safeguard the electoral fortunes of their parties during elections. Some of these groups include 'Bolga Bulldogs', 'Azorka Boys', 'Kandahar Boys', 'Invincible Forces', among others.
The Bulldogs, engaged the Invincible Forces in a violent standoff at the NPP’s headquarters over issues concerning the indefinite suspension of national chairman Paul Afoko late last year.
The Invincible Forces, also, engaged a group of thugs – some in military fatigues – at the same NPP headquarters in Asylum Down, during a raid by the latter, also late last year. The police had to deploy officers there to maintain peace.
Dr. Attuquayefio also suggested that security for various political parties’ presidential candidates and their running mates should be a matter of priority.
He said immediately a political party elects its flagbearer the state must get proper security for the presidential candidate as well as the running mate.
Director of Public Affairs of the Ghana Police Service, Superintendent Cephas Arthur said on the show the police lack the powers to regulate the activities of any political candidate’s vigilante group or personnel security if they have not violated the nation’s laws.
“We don’t have power to regulate anybody’s personnel security, once their activities are not harmful to the state’s security” he said.
He stated that the police are always ready to protect Ghanaians and leaders of various political parties in the country.
Sup. Arthur admonished any political leader who feels threatened to officially write to the police for protection.
He said even couples having their weddings and parties can write to the police for protection.
He also reassured the general public of their protection.