‘Disband to uproot scourge of political vigilantism’
The road map to curtailing political vigilantism includes the need for law enforcement agencies to prosecute cases and mete out stiffer punishment to perpetrators, as well as constitutional amendments and revised code of conduct for political parties in addition to rigorous civic education.
A report on engagements by the National Commission on Civic Education (NCCE) with major stakeholders has, however, underscored the need to disband as the first key step to uproot the scourge of vigilantism in the country.
According to the report, which followed engagements with 12 major stakeholders, including political parties, it was revealed that a multifaceted or broad-based stakeholder engagement to address the scourge was a necessary requisite to finding a lasting solution to the negative phenomenon.
The report captures the outcomes of the stakeholder engagements that the NCCE carried out between October 2018 and February 2019.
In all, 12 major stakeholders including political parties were consulted.
Addressing a press conference to formally launch the report in Accra, the Chairperson of the NCCE, Ms Josephine Nkrumah, said time and resource constraints did not afford the NCCE the opportunity to consult more stakeholders.
That notwithstanding, she said, the NCCE believed that the views of other stakeholders were equally pertinent to resolving the menace of vigilantism.
National summit on vigilantism
Towards that end, the NCCE was hopeful that a proposed national summit would afford those other important stakeholders the platform to proffer their views and recommendations.
The engagements, she said, pointed to factors such as unemployment and vulnerability of the youth, the desire to settle past political scores, mutual mistrust between the two major political parties, lack of confidence in the Ghana Police Service and other security agencies, and the desire by political parties to win power at all possible cost as some causes of vigilante activities.
Stakeholders, therefore, recommended that the NCCE holds a national summit, the outcome of which should provide a comprehensive road map for dealing with the vigilante menace.
Among the key stakeholders who were engaged were the representatives of political parties without representation in Parliament: the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP), Liberal Party of Ghana, People’s National Convention (PNC), Democratic People’s Party (DPP) and the All People’s Congress (APC).
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) were met separately at their respective national headquarters. Other stakeholders the NCCE engaged were the Inspector General of Police (IGP) with the Ghana Police Service Administration, the National Peace Council (NPC), the Trades Union Congress (TUC), the Office of the National Chief Imam (ONCI), the Speaker of Parliament, the Chief Justice, the Joint Intelligence Committee of the National Security Committee, the Christian Council of Ghana and the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice (CHRAJ).