The Inspector-General of Police (IGP), David Asante Apeatu has directed political parties to denounce vigilante groups claiming allegiance to them with immediate effect.
According to the IGP, it is against the country’s laws for political parties to have such groups that have recently been disturbing the peace of the country.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are the two leading political parties with most number of vigilante groups in the country.
In Septemeber last year, the opposition NDC’s General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia defended the fresh emergence of vigilante groups within the party.
He told Joy News' Kwesi Parker-Wilson, the emergence of groups like Hawks is "an appropriate natural response" to the failure of the Akufo-Addo government to rein in its party vigilante groups.
"I endorse it fully," the NDC mastermind refused to condemn the Hawks which is the latest group. Other groups include 'The Dragons' based in the Brong Ahafo region and 'The Lions' based in the Eastern region.
General Mosquito as he is popularly called proceeded to list several pieces of evidence of insecurity created under the NPP government.
He said the NDC while in government watched on while the NPP formed groups like Delta Force based in the Ashanti region, Kandahar Boys based in the Northern region and the Invincible Forces based in the capital, Accra.
Many fear the continuous activities of these groups could cause disturb the peaceful atmosphere especially with election 2020 just a little over a year away.
The police have come under pressure for not acting tough on these groups but addressing the media in Accra Thursday, Mr. Apeatu declared a “zero tolerance against political violence and vigilantism.”
He warned persons harbouring any plans to form new vigilante groups to “reverse such intentions” or be dealt with according to the law.
He further cautioned people who disturb the peace of the country will be dealt with irrespective of their political affiliation.
“We want to appeal to all political parties to immediately denounce their own vigilante groups to create the necessary awareness that will embolden the police,” Asante Apeatu stated.
The police he indicated, “are poised to arrest and profile any group of people claiming to be vigilante groups irrespective of their political affiliations. We are declaring zero tolerance against political violence and vigilantism.”
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