NDC, NPP militia talks a waste of resources – PNC Chairman
The two biggest opposition parties have made headway in their dialogue on dealing with politically motivated violence.
On Monday, the NDC and the NPP agreed on the scope of participation and the modalities on how to disband the groups which carry out the acts of violence on the parties’ behalf.
The talks began almost two months after President Nana Akufo-Addo directed them to do so on February 21, in his third State of the Nation Address.
But Chairman of one of the smaller parties, the Peoples’ National Convention (PNC) is enraged by the idea of the talks.
“This meeting is a waste of our time and resources,” Bernard Mornah told Mamavi Owusu Aboagye on the AM Show on the Joy News channel Tuesday.
According to Mornah, the activities of the political militia are criminal and their members and financiers should be dealt with under the law.
“Why must NDC and NPP go to a meeting to dialogue on what is already wrong,” he quizzed.
The PNC Chairman fears the two biggest parties are creating a dangerous precedent.
In his opinion, should the NDC and the NPP fade out, the succeeding politicos may repeat exactly what they are doing today and simply use dialogue to solve criminal acts.
Mornah is also unimpressed with the “Vigilantism and Related Offenses Bill 2019,” which seeks to outlaw these groups.
He says laws already exist to deal with the hooliganism these groups engage in.
However, a member of the NDC’s legal team, Abraham Amaliba, who was also on the show saw little basis for Mornah’s argument.
According to the lawyer, dialogue has solved conflict and its related issues in Ghana better than the law has.
He referenced the Dagbon conflict where Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II led a dialogue to solve the decades-old chieftaincy dispute after Supreme Court rulings failed to do same.
Amaliba said the dialogue will give the platform to unveil issues that may otherwise be buried.
Mornah however, said if the law enforcement institutions are strengthened and depoliticised the issue of political party militia would be ended.
What has come out of the talks?
On Monday, the NDC and the NPP agreed to include selected Civil Society Organisations, the clergy and security institutions in the talks to disband the militia groups.
There is however, an option to include other authors should the current ones deem necessary.
President Akufo-Addo gave the directive for the meeting after a by-election in Accra turned bloody when armed men stormed the residence of the NDC candidate.
There is a Bill on the floor of Parliament to deal specifically with political violence.