Legislation Won't Stop Political Militia – Security Expert
Security Analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning doubts the potency of legislation in disbanding political party vigilante groups from the country's body politic.
According to him, the phenomenon which has become deeply rooted in the country’s politics and cannot simply be addressed with legislation.
President Akufo-Addo in delivering his 2019 State of the Nation Address in Parliament, said he had instructed the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) which he belongs to, to extend an invitation to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to discuss how to disband their respective vigilante groups.
President Akufo-Addo said the phenomenon of political vigilantism has the potential of destabilizing the country and reversing the democratic gains the country has made over the years.
This comes after some masked armed men fired at some residents near the La Bawaleshie polling station during the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency.
Until it was later confirmed that the group that fired the shots were members of the National Security Council, some suggested that the persons were members of the pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) vigilante group, Invincible Forces.
Some have lauded President Akufo-Addo for his comment on the matter but speaking before the Short Commission on the Ayawaso West Wuogon shootings as an expert on security issues, Dr. Aning said there was the need for a sober and long process to first engender trust.
“Legislation will just not end this process. It has gotten root in our society, creates economic incentives and people use that. And therefore we need a sober, long-term process in which we will create trust first, come round the table start having the conversion and then begin a disaggregation process of the specific issue areas that we need to tackle. That takes a lot of time,” he said.
He further told the commission that the country must not be shy to request help from organizations such as the United Nations and the African Union to help it deal with political party vigilante groups since the process involves an elaborate strategy for the disaggregation of the groups.
“We should not be shy as a nation to say probably the UN should come and help to play the honest broker, or the African Union because in disaggregating, those who are members of these groups, the economic interests, their geographical location, what they used their strengths and equipment for when they are not being used [for vigilante activities], need a trust-building process, [and] that takes quite some time.”