The General Secretary of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), John Boadu, has said that although the elephant family is in talks with the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) for a possible meeting to discuss how they could disband their various vigilante groups, no date has been fixed for a meeting yet.
Both the National Chairmen NPP and NDC, Freddie Blay and Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, according to the Chief Scribe of the elephant family, are leading the front for their respective political party.
“We’ve not been able to schedule a meeting yet but there is an ongoing discussion”, he noted.
Addressing the Emile Short Commission of Inquiry in the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election violence, Monday, Mr. Boadu he was certain that what has accounted for the delay for the two political parties to meet had to do with the fact that the NDC just finished conducting is presidential primary coupled with the fact its National Chairman, Ofosu Ampofo, was also battling with a leaked audio recording with the Police over ownership.
The two main political parties, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the largest opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) are culprits of forming vigilante groups, with the Ghana Police Service, estimating that each has five groups.
Commenting on vigilantism in his State of the Nation Address on the floor of Parliament, last Thursday, February 21, 2019, the President said what was tolerated over the years cannot and must not be accepted anymore.
He stressed that the peace and security of the country must not be taken for granted; not for a moment since “our children and grandchildren will not forgive us if we were to compromise our peace and stability. I will not permit that to occur under my watch”.
To that effect, he urged the leadership of the NPP to extend an invitation to the leadership of the NDC for a meeting on disbanding vigilantism, noting that the security services of the country will be on standby to assist the meeting.
“I want to use the platform of this message to make a sincere, passionate appeal to the leaders of the two main political parties in our country, NPP and NDC, to come together, as soon as possible, preferably next week, to agree on appropriate measures to bring an end to this worrying and unacceptable phenomenon of vigilantism in our body politic”.
“The events of last Monday in Kumasi where a meeting of the national and regional executives of the opposition NDC was broken up by acts of violence, leading to the tragic death of a citizen, have reinforced the urgent need for us to find the path”, he noted.
President Akufo-Addo however cautioned that “if voluntary disbandment by the parties is not feasible, then I will initiate legislation on the matter. Vigorous debate and the exchange of ideas should be the true basis of political dialogue and competition in our country, not the activities of party vigilante groups”.
However, ten days into the President’s call, the two political parties are yet to meet over the issue.
In the view of John Boadu, despite the political parties not fixing a date to honour the President’s call, talks between the two party chairmen are encouraging.
He assured the Commission that with what the two party leaders have demonstrated so far, he was confident that the will to meet to “do the needful” cannot be compromised.