The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed its readiness to disband its newly formed vigilante groups.
The party however, states that this would happen only if the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) disband their vigilante groups as well.
“…we wish to emphasize our readiness to order the disbandment of these groups provided and only if, President Akufo-Addo shows signs of readiness to protect the lives and property of our members by disarming and disbanding the NPPs numerous vigilante groups…” a statement signed by the General Secretary of the party said.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia noted that these groups have emerged as a result of the failure of the state security to provide a convincing sense of security in the country.
“Indeed, we are more encouraged and motivated by the fact that individual members of our party, have now taken charge of their personal security by organizing themselves into groups so as to provide adequate security for the lives and property of our party members,” the statement said.
The NDC’s statement comes in response to a National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) statement that condemned the former for his endorsement of the said lawless groups.
The NCCE described the endorsement by Asiedu Nketia as saddening.
“The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) notes with concern, the endorsement of vigilante groups especially in the quarters of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), giving impetus to entrenching political party vigilantism,” the statement said in part.
But hitting back at the constitutionally created democratic and civil awareness organisation, the NDC said the condemnation has come rather “late”.
“We have allowed the NPP to perpetrate these acts of injustice to our members for far too long. We shall not miss any opportunity to protect the lives and property of our people,” the NDC said.
Referencing the NPP’s vigilante groups that have orchestrated various lawless acts including dragging state appointees out of their office and storming of a Kumasi court to liberate their colleagues on trial; the NDC questioned the mandate of the NCCE then.
“…where was the NCCE in 2015, when the then Candidate Akufo-Addo recruited and brought in mercenaries to train and establish the para-military wings of the New Patriotic Party,” the statement added.
The NDC called out President Nana Akufo-Addo; saying that he should ensure the prosecution of the members of the NPP affiliated vigilante groups who have been involved in widely reported lawless acts.