Arresting vigilante youth not solution, give them jobs – Lecturer advises gov’t

A Senior Lecturer at the University of Education, Winneba, Dr. Ahmed Jinapor, has advised government to find the root cause of vigilantism in the country instead of threats to sanction police commanders who fail to arrest perpetrators of vigilantism.

The lecturer said “we need to go to the root of this issue and the fact is, these boys need jobs. The youth were promised that when we come to power, we are going to give you jobs and the truth be told, the jobs are not there”.

The Interior Minister, Ambrose Dery, was reported to have warned that police commanders who fail to arrest and prosecute persons involved in vigilante-related incidents will face sanctions.

The government’s commitment to ensure security in the country has been questioned, following a recent upsurge in the incidents of violent attacks perpetuated by  political vigilante groups across the country.

Mostly youth groups aligned to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), have gone on rampage seizing public toilets, tollbooths, locking up state establishments and attacking some state officials since the party assumed office.

“If you say you are going to arrest them, that is not the way to go because they are not criminals. These are disciplined supporters of the NPP who were promised jobs and the jobs are not there,” Dr. Jinapor  told TV3’s New Day hosted by Bright Nana Amfoh on Wednesday.

He said “anywhere these things have happened, it’s about them and we need to purge these people by re-orient them because these things are spreading gradually and the approach needs to go back to the root cause of this”.

Dr. Jinapor noted, “do they go to rob the banks? No. They go to places where they believe they are entitled to”.

He was surprised the police that is mandated to maintain peace and order would wait to be instructed before doing so.

“You don’t need the Interior Minister to come and tell you what to do. If it is the Minister of Interior that has to tell you if you don’t do it, we shall sanction you then that is problematic and I think that is overly simplistic solution”.

The members of Invisible Forces in Tema

Internal terrorists

The Member of Parliament for Mion Constituency in the Northern Region, Abdul-Aziz Mohammed who was also on the show was very critical about how the NPP seems to have bred these vigilante groups.

“These guys are homegrown internal terrorists who are unleashing mayhem on people and we should not be blaming the Ghana Police”.

Mr. Abdul-Aziz said although these attacks by the vigilante groups happened during the day, no arrest has been made.

“If we had allowed the [police] to work, they would have dealt with it long time. You may not have the evidence to back the claims that politicians are not allowing the police to work, but it is true that political leaders are not allowing the police to work,” he remarked.

The Member of Parliament for Ledzokuku Constituency in the Greater Accra Region, Dr. Bernard Okoe Boye noted for instance that the recent conviction of some members of the NPP vigilante group, Delta Force [vigilante group] was to serve as a deterrent.

He is of the view that the continuous attacks though “unpardonable”, the police should be blamed.

“The police are paid to enforce the law, to make the country function and to make the structures work. Let us see some signs of activeness from the police”, the MP explained.

By Kweku Antwi-Otoo|TV3|3news.com|Ghana

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