A Former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection under the erstwhile Mahama administration, Nana Oye Lithur has backed her National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, to use an independent mediator in the process of dissolving vigilante groups within the two main political parties of the country.
Speaking on Inside Politics on Radio XYZ 93.1, she observed the activities of such groups usually lead to pockets of violence during elections and end up marring the peace and stability of the country.
Showing their preparedness to end party vigilantism after the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections violence in January, NDC National Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo requested that the disbandment was not only limited to the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress but to “all political parties, civil society organisations, representatives of the media, representatives of the military, police and other security agencies, as well as other relevant stakeholders”.
But President Akufo-Addo, in his reply, rather said he "had hoped that the proposed meeting would be without preconditions on either side" - response analysts have criticised.
A Civil Society Group- Eagles Forum described the response as “worrying” although it commended Mr Akufo-Addo for calling on his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition NDC to commence a dialogue to end the menace.
But Nana Oye Lithur said she supports calls to get a mediator in the process of dissolving such groups because she's disappointed that the activities of the groups keep rising and endangering the country.
“The idea the NDC brought to involve civil society groups in a dialogue to disband Vigilante groups is the correct and accurate way to go," she added and contended that the role of the civil society groups cannot be underestimated in such democratic processes.
"I support my Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo to have a mediator in the process," the former cabinet minister said as she criticised the NPP government for dragging its feet.
Nana Oye Lithur's comment comes after the latest Joy News exposé that unveiled the activities of a vigilante group associated with the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) which trains at the former seat of government, the Christiansborg Castle at Osu in Accra.
The investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni, exposed the operations of the group known as ‘De-Eye Group’ and said the facility had been used by the militia group for close to two years.
In the documentary which was aired last Thursday, it emerged that sometimes the group offers protection to some state functions. Manasseh also revealed the group provided security at the Accra International Conference Centre on December 7, 2018, when the NPP held the ceremony at Centre to celebrate the legacy and launch a foundation of one of the founding fathers of the party, Simon Dombo.
They manned the gate to the Conference Centre and were everywhere including the main entrances to the Conference Hall.
This programme which had President Akufo-Addo a the special guest of honour was attended by almost everyone who matters in the NPP, including former President H.E John Agyekum Kufuor, Vice President Dr Mahamudu Bawumia and his wife Samira.
After the documentary was shown, Ghanaians have been wondering whether President Akufo-Addo was really committed to fighting political party militias in the country as he disclosed when presenting his state of the nation address last month.
But Madam Oye Lithur who says the situation is worrying noted that: "The peace of Ghana is endangered [and] consistently, we’ve had a certain level of lawlessness (and) a certain level of impunity " in the country following the activities of these party militias.
She also asked Ghanaians to "rise up" and kick against the vigilante groups and pressurise the government to listen to the call to disband such groups.