The General Secretary of the NDC, Johnson Asiedu Nketia says the party was “compelled” to form vigilante groups due to the “current atmosphere of intimidation” in the country.
Although he conceded that the formation of such groups that have widely been condemned by many was “unfortunate”, he wants everything blamed on the governing New Patriotic Party.
Addressing teeming members of the largest opposition party, National Democratic Congress, at its delegates’ congress in Accra Saturday, Mr. Asiedu Nketia claimed calls on the NPP to disband vigilante groups formed by party functionaries with support of the party were disregarded.
“Over the last two years, we have persistently joined like-minded Ghanaians to call on government to halt the assault on our members and to disband its vigilante groups but all these went unheeded,” he recounted.
Though it is not clear which of the two parties started endorsing the usually violent activities of the vigilante groups, the activism gained notoriety in the past few years after bloody attacks on political opponents, and at times, members of their own party.
Though there has been round condemnation of the activities of the groups by both the NDC and NPP, none has been able to distance itself from known groups aligned to it.
But the NDC General Secretary said the party had “cautioned that should [the NPP] fail to do so [thus disbanding their vigilante groups], we will be compelled to take steps to defend ourselves.
“As it is common knowledge now, members of our party have begun forming similar groups to protect our members and their property.”
The NDC delegates’ congress being held at the Ghana International Trade Fair Centre in Accra would elect national executives of the party to steer the affairs of the party in the next four years.
Over 15,000 supporters and members of the party including about 9,000 delegates would make that decision today.
Mr. Asiedu Nketia who is seeking re-election is facing stiff competition from Koku Anyidoho who has been his deputy.