Members of vigilante groups will not be barred from applying to join national security organisations, according to the Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery.
Mr. Dery, however, noted that, the line would be drawn when it comes to persons with criminal backgrounds.
The Minister was speaking to Citi News’ Anass Seidu after hosting a brain-storming session with retired police officers.
“What I want to say is that, every Ghanaian, whether they belong to a vigilante group or not, would have the opportunity to apply and join any of the security organizations when advertisements are duly put out and they have the qualifications to apply,” Mr. Dery stated.
His comments come in the wake of speculation that members of pro-government vigilante groups were going to be absolved into security agencies.
Mr. Dery, who remains hesitant to out rightly condemn the existence of vigilante groups said their members “will be considered alongside every other Ghanaian and those who pass the test will be taken.”
But he assured that “they are not going to be taken because they belong to any group” or be rewarded for breaking the law.
“Don’t forget that, should we get to know that you have a criminal record, it disqualifies you from entering into those security organizations,” the Minister added.
All groups must respect the law
On the matter of the existence of these vigilante groups, Mr. Dery cautioned that there was a thin line between enforcing vigilante groups and infringing on a person’s right to affiliation.
For him, regardless the tag of a group, they are still subject to the laws of Ghana
“I reiterate the position that, it is time all groups respect the laws of this country. When you want to ban a group, you might then confront the situation as to whether you are taking away people’s freedom to associate. Depending on the kind of grouping you want to belong to, the law has various consideration and principles.”
“…all we say is that, individuals or groups must respect and obey the laws of this country. If you do not, you shall be subjected to what the law prescribes. You shall be arrested, be investigated and the consequential action shall be taken.”