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Political Vigilantism: Akufo-Addo snubs NPP, NDC dialogue by initiating legislation

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has instructed the Attorney General to prepare and submit a specific legislation to Parliament “as soon as possible” to deal with political vigilantism.

According to a letter written by the president to the National Chairman of the National Democratic Congress (NDC), the legislation will be without prejudice to the outcome of the dialogue between the country’s two major political parties.

President Akufo-Addo had asked the NDC and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to meet and find a lasting solution to the thuggery in party politics especially what has led to the formation of groups such as Invisible Forces, Delta Forces, in the NPP, and The Hawks and Azorka Boys, in the NDC.

“I believe that the parliamentary process of enactment affords sufficient space for any citizen to make an input or contribution to the enactment of a good and effective law, whose implementation will enable us rid our nation of politically-related violence, a development that can only inure to the benefit of Ghanaian democracy and to the preservation of law and order.”

Since asking the two parties to engage each other to stem the tide of political vigilantism, there has been a back-and-forth as to how that engagement will take place.

While the NDC have called for a wider stakeholder engagement beyond them and the NPP, particularly in having a mediator in the National Peace Council, the ruling party have accused the opposition of not cooperating.

On Wednesday, at a Media General-cum-Star Ghana-organised forum on the menace, Communications Director of the NDC Kakra Essamuah said his party does not subscribe to the idea that it has to go to the NPP to discuss the issue.

But the president had insisted in his February 21 directive that a legislation will be initiated if the two parties do not reach a consensus.

He stressed in his 62nd independence anniversary speech in Tamale that it is the two parties – with about 95 per cent of the voter population since 1992 – who have to sit at the table to sort out the issue of political party vigilantism.

The president vowed to stamp out violence from Ghana’s politics.

A retired senior officer, Colonel Festus Aboagye, had advised the president to desist from engaging the parties and rather leave the dialogue to them and other interested groups.

But President Akufo-Addo on Thursday responded to NDC National Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo’s most recent letter dated Monday, March 11, 2019.

“My response to it is in two parts,” the president preambled.

“Firstly, I note that you have, quite properly, given a copy of it to the Chairperson of the New Patriotic Party, Mr Freddie Blay.

“I have asked him to respond to its content, since he is the rightful person to speak directly for the New Patriotic Party, and I expect that he will do so promptly.”

He added that beyond that, he has asked Gloria Akuffo to proceed to Parliament with the legislation.

Curiously, the president copied the Chairman of the National Peace Council.

By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana

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