The National Peace Council has commended the cooperation by the two main political parties in the ongoing vigilantism dialogue, aimed at finding viable measures of disbanding political vigilante groups in the country.
As a means of curbing future related causes of the sour aftermath of the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, a vigilantism bill was laid in parliament for consideration and subsequent approval after investigations by the Emile Short Commission.
At a stakeholder conference on Thursday, May 23, 2019, to discuss concerns and perspectives in respect to the vigilantism and other related offenses bill, the acting Executive Secretary of the National Peace Council noted that the degree of responsiveness shown by the two main political factions is highly commendable.
George Amoh on behalf of the NPC said, the parties have so far exhibited great concern to finding sustainable ways of wiping out the issue political vigilantism.
He said: “…We also see that parties already being engaged, the National Democratic Congress and New Patriotic Party are responding well and I think I have to establish it here. So far, they’re responding very positively to the ongoing dialogue and we as a country would have to encourage them to continue.”
Mr. Amoh noted amongst other things that, the citizenry must “…help create the necessary political environment for the dialogue to be effective and for a good law to be passed. If there is a break of trust...or someone feels threatened...we’re likely not to have the support that we all need to ensure that we have a good law passed.”
The National Peace Council has been the mediator in the ongoing bipartisan meeting aimed at setting modalities on the disbandment of political vigilante groups.
At the same event, however, both the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress expressed their disinterest in supporting matters relating to intra-party vigilantism.
Addressing the gathering on behalf of the New Patriotic Party, Mr. Gary Nimako emphasized that the new patriotic party will no longer support issues of violence in the party.
“...In the meantime, we (NPP) hold the firm view that, anybody who commits act of lawlessness ought to be arrested and punished according to the law. That is the view that we hold.” He said.
In the same vein, the former Health Minister, Alex Segbefia in his presentation on behalf of the National Democratic Congress, noted that, even though the bill is premature it doesn’t take away the fact that, vigilantism is a dangerous phenomenon which not addressed, can have devastating effects in the future.
The Attorney General on the instruction of the president prepared and submitted a specific legislation to deal with political vigilantism with correlating sanctions to parliament in April, 2019.