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10.04.2019 Headlines

Disbanding Vigilantism: 'NPP's Hypocrisy will make NPC's Job tough' -K.K. Anyimah

Henryson Okrah
News Emmanuel K.K. Anyimah

Emmanuel K.K. Anyimah, a member of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), is alleging the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is not committed to the processes that will dissolve vigilantism in their setting.

Contributing as a panel member on Ete Sen on Radio XYZ 93.1, the NDC communicator alleged that the NPP had recruited some members of its vigilante groups into some security agencies so they could "use them" to cause mayhem during election periods.

His comments come after the National Peace Council (NPC) met the NPP and NDC in Accra and held discussions with them on how to disband party militia affiliated to them.

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NPP National Chairman, Fredie Blay (L) NPP National Org. Sammi Awuku (Middle) and NDC National Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo (R) at the meeting on Tuesday.

The process which will be mediated by the National Peace Council was necessitated by a directive from President Nana Akufo-Addo to the two parties to dialogue on the matter following the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on January 31, 2019.

More than 4 NDC supporters sustained various degrees of gun wounds after they were attacked by masked men suspected to be linked to the NPP – a situation that made President Akufo-Addo establish a three-member commission led by former boss of the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ), Francis Emile Short to inquire into the nefarious act.

Last month, the Emile Short Commission had submitted its report to the president for further action after it invited stakeholders and witnesses over the election related violence.

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President Akufo-Addo and the Emile Short Commission at the Jubilee House

The perpetrators of the violence during the bye-election who were captured live on videos, are still walking free despite an ongoing police investigation.

But K.K Anyimah believes the National Peace Council, which is engaging the 2 political parties over the activities of the dangerous groups within their settings, will have a tough job because the NPP is not being truthful.

"We in the NDC have said our party has no vigilante group; it is the NPP that has several of such groups...we know of Invisible Forces, Delta Forces [and] some members of these groups have been recruited into some state security institutions, so the government must take them out [and be truthful] before we discuss disbanding them," Anyimah stressed.

He said until the leadership of the ruling NPP come out in an honest way on the matter, the NPC will find it difficult finding a lasting solution to the activities of the vigilante groups many have described as 'party militias'.

"The Ayawaso West Wuogon [Emile Short] commission report has not been made public by the president so what is the NDC going to say?" he questioned and stressed that the president ought to make the commission's report public to enable all stakeholders discuss the matter well in order to curb future election-related violence.

NDC Not Happy With Outcome Of First Meeting
Aside K.K Anyimah's concerns, NDC General Secretary, Johnson Asiedu Nketiah says he was not too impressed with the outcome of the first meeting to carve a roadmap to end party vigilantism.

“I wouldn’t say I am totally happy about the outcome of today’s meeting. But half a loaf is better than none so I would say that we will take the progress that has been made as an achievement and find ways of building on what we have achieved,” he said on PM Express on Joy News TV.

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Mr Asiedu Nketiah
Mr Asiedu Nketiah noted, the opposition party went into the talks hoping that the NPP had accepted to involve multiple stakeholders in the vigilantism disbandment process, but that was not the case.

Quoting from a letter the NPP wrote to the NDC prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Asiedu Nketia said the governing party had made the following submission in the March 15, 2019 letter:

“We have also taken notice of your request to expand the scope of the engagement to include multiple stakeholders and wish to assure you that the NPP avails itself for this consideration at the meeting which will afford the two parties the opportunity to agree on the various stakeholders to be invited in the subsequent engagements.”

Asiedu Nketia said per the above statement in the letter, the NPP had "shifted its position from the dual party engagement to consideration for multiple stakeholder engagement," adding that the situation was worrying.

By: Henryson Okrah/