The lack of political will is the cause of growing vigilantism in Ghana, the Director of Faculty of Academic Affairs & Research at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre has said.
According to him, the chances of ending growing vigilantism in Ghana is about 5-10 percent.
Dr. Kwasi Aning was responding to the call by the Inspector General of Police [IGP] at a press conference organized by the Ghana Police Service on Thursday to deal with the menace.
The call by the GIP comes at a time government has set up a Commission of Inquiry to probe violence which marred the recent Ayawaso West Wougon by-elections allegedly carried out by pro-government vigilante groups who masked under the National Security apparatus.
But Dr. Aning who spoke on the Joy FM Super Morning Show [SMS] holds that though the call by the Police Chief has the effect to “show authority and assuage public fear” it will amount to nothing without political will.
What is political will?
Mr. Aning posits that it is “having the authority, the willingness and daring to take the bull by the horn.” In his words, “it is what has led to the formation of this Commission of Inquiry.”
But he doubts if the government will still have the same will it had to form the commission to implement its recommendation since history shows that just between 5 and 10 percent of such reports have been implemented.
“The question is whether they [the Commission] come up with a recommendation, there will be the political will to implement,” he told Daniel Dadzie, host of the Joy Fm SMS Friday Morning.
In his view, the solution to dealing with vigilantism is not farfetched; arguing that even the Ghana Center for Democratic Development [CDD] has a document which has outlined in detail what can be done to deal with this issue.
“There is a certain document that outlines a step by step solution. What is only lacking is the political will.”
Dr. Aning argues that “vigilantism is a political problem before it transited into a security problem,” as those involved in it are more politically connected and empowered than the IGP. And therefore the solution must be irked from the political angle.
He warned that “if these warning [from the IGP] fail, then we are in trouble because it undermines the IGP’S authority and makes the Police Service a laughing stock.”
Unfortunately “there is nothing they [Police] can do if they [Politicians] refuse to disband them [vigilante groups], because to Mr. Anim “What we calling vigilantism is more complex than we think,” he said.