A pro-New Patriotic Party (NPP) vigilante group, Delta Force has welcomed the government’s plans to end political vigilantism in Ghana.
President Akufo-Addo has said he will initiate legislation to end the lawlessness perpetrated by the groups if dialogue between the two main political parties fails.
The NPP and NDC have agreed to meet to discuss the disbandment of these groups.
In an interview with Citi News, the Chairman of the Delta Force in the Ashanti Region, Kojo Bamba said the importance of the Delta force has been diluted by the inception of similar groups, hence the support for disbandment.
“If everyone in the country is talking against vigilantism and the President also finds the need to disband it, then we support it. We created the group to defend our polling station because usually when there is an election we hear of stories where people go and snatch ballot boxes in our strongholds — so we formed this group to prevent people from taking the ballot boxes and we won the 2016 elections. ”
“But the National Democratic Congress (NDC) will not allow that because they thought if the election is held in a free and fair manner, they will lose the election. That is why they decided to create their vigilantism group to cause confusion. So if now, the state finds the need to disband it, we support it because previously, there were no such groups”, he added.
Activities of political party militia groups are said to have the tendency of destabilizing the country and reversing the democratic gains the country has made over the years.
The violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency due to activities of supposed politically-aligned vigilante groups, brought on a broader conversation over the subject matter.
But, President Nana Addo who has already instructed the Attorney General to prepare legislation to stop the phenomenon of political vigilantism says nothing will stophis administration to in the fight against the menace.
The phenomenon of vigilantism ignited a national debate following a surge in violence by members of vigilante groups aligned to Ghana’s major political parties, NDC and NPP.
Some of these attacks have resulted in death and injuries on victims including innocent citizens.
Too early to write off vigilantism legislation – Lawyer
While many political parties and other stakeholders have said that legislation will yield no positive results, a private legal practitioner, Martin Kpebu says it is early days yet for Ghanaians to dismiss plans by the government to formulate a law to end activities of such groups.
He said the decision by the President might have numerous benefits hence, admonished people agitating to wait for the legislation to be passed before writing it off.
“considering all the criticisms and how far the country has come to discuss this topic over a month, I should think that before the President asks the AG to prepare legislation then it really might have been something good. Those who think that we have sufficient laws to deal with vigilantism are not entirely correct. There are loopholes in the law. Just as we have rules on terrorist financing, we don’t have the same on vigilantism. So this is one area we need to tackle. So far as we have not seen what the President and the Attorney General are talking about, it’s premature to say that it is not necessary,” he added.