In recent times especially after the violence that occurred during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election, political vigilantism or militia came seriously under public lenses.
In the midst of this the President showed leadership by calling for steps to disband vigilante groups. This was either to be achieved by the two main political parties meeting to fashion the process of disbandment or he the president initiating legislation to that effect.
It’s been 22 days since President Akufo Addo issued a directive to the leadership of the governing NPP and opposition NDC to meet to discuss modalities on disbanding their party militias (22 days ooo; but no show). In fact the president was clear that his party the NPP initiate that process by writing an official letter to the NDC over the matter, but the leadership of the NPP are yet to comply with the directive- can one conclude that the NPP is flagrantly disregarding the presidents’ directives? (Anyway I will come to that).
But soon after the presidents’ directive, both parties agreed to meet over the matter. Some of us thought that at long last there is some ray of hope that finally these two “stubborn parties” would help the country truly pull from the brink, but little did we know that they were going to engage in a 419 move and needless flip-flopping (here I am tempted to believe that Ghanaian politicians are endangering our democracy because of how they have handled this issue so far, and I will tell you why).
One simple/ one common letter, “Dear NDC chairman, in furtherance to the president’s directives, we would like to request for your presence to discuss modalities to disband our militia groups. We intend to have this conversation at "so-so and so" hotel at this time. Thank you for your cooperation”. Done! How many lines? This small letter the NPP cannot write? What are they waiting for? Or their letter heads are not ready, or perhaps they don’t have A4 sheets?
What does it take to write such a simple letter? I am still struggling to appreciate why the NPP has failed to initiate this process and yet we hear some of the executives perpetually defending their gaffe. In the meantime I have seen the National Organizer Sammi Awuku take steps to engage their militia groups. We have been told the meeting with the groups is essentially to admonish them to stay away from violence. That is good but I doubt if that’s enough to concede that the party is dissolving the group? We need real action and not lip service.
To the NDC, I must express my disappointment in the Deputy General Secretary Peter Otukornor for consistently positing that the NDC does not have a vigilante group. If that’s the case why has the party written two letters to the president demanding a mediator in their meeting? So what are they going to discuss when the meeting comes off? NPP has admitted that they have these boys and have started engaging them to stay away from violence- but what is the NDC doing?
Sitting at Adabraka and denying the existence of these boys? I think the posture of some of the NDC executives is not healthy for the task ahead. The NDC must admit and start initiating processes leading to the disbandment of these militia groups (Please they are militia groups and not a community-based organization). Enough of the media war and the trade of letters. We are tired! Both parties must listen to the voice of reason and do the needful.
The zeal at which these politicians look for all available means to enrich themselves and to enhance their lifestyles, they must find that same zeal and commitment towards the disbandment of their militia groups. From afar I can only say that these two parties are toying with Ghanaians. But wait ooooo, do you think these two parties would have the testicular fortitude to disband these groups? Time will tell and time is already telling.