The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has called on the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) to, as a matter of urgency, disband all political party vigilante groups in the country.
The call by the NCCE comes at the heel of an attack by the New Patriotic Party’s (NPP’s) vigilante group, the Delta Force, on the Member of Parliament (MP) for the Tafo Pankrono Constituency, Dr Anthony Akoto Osei during a meeting with members and executives of his constituency.
The meeting was disrupted by Delta Force vigilantes whose acts, the NCCE said, threatened the MP and party executive present, adding that “Delta Force hoodlums have become notorious for the use of force and violence and total disregard for law and order.”
The NCCE, in making the call, also urged the security agencies to hasten investigations into the latest incident and bring the perpetrators to book.
Addressing a press conference in Accra Monday, the Chairperson of the NCCE, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, said “it is by so doing that a clear warning and lasting signal will be sent to others who are contemplating unleashing similar negative acts.”
Describing the occurrence as a “national crisis”, it called on political party leaders to genuinely exhibit to Ghanaians that they had respect for the rule of law and that no individual or group of persons could hold the country to ransom under the guise of political party vigilantism.
“They must show commitment to peace and national stability by disbanding immediately all militant groups within their rank and file. Enough of the lip service to the rule of law. We, Ghanaians, demand that laws and institutions must be allowed to work without fear of favour,” the commission posited.
Ms Nkrumah said the NCCE had repeatedly expressed its revulsion at political party vigilantes, particularly of the NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) who take the law into their own hands and cause social dislocation.
It is unacceptable
“After 25 years of democratic governance, it is unacceptable for any group of persons to commit such acts that undermine the rule of law and democracy,” she pointed out.
Reiterating the stance of the NCCE, Ms Nkrumah said “political party vigilantes have no place or space in our democratic culture.
The leadership of the NPP must demonstrate to the people of Ghana that the law applies equally to all by actively pursuing security agencies and the judiciary to swiftly and decisively prosecute vigilante groups.”
The NCCE, she said, was of the considered view that the apparent leniency with which the Delta Force vigilantes were handled when they struck at the law courts to free their fellow perpetrators had further emboldened them to continue to act with such impunity.
“The NCCE will not cease to condemn, name and shame vigilantism and all acts of lawlessness because of the risk it poses to the country’s democratic stability, social security, investor confidence and peaceful co-existence of all Ghanaians, amongst other factors,” she added.