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GCPP lauds govt’s efforts to end political vigilantism

BY: Dominic Moses Awiah
Dr Henry Herbert Lartey
Dr Henry Herbert Lartey

The Great Consolidated Popular Party (GCPP) has lauded the government’s efforts to end political vigilantism in the country following the laying of a bill to disband the menace in Parliament.

According to the party, disbanding any form of vigilantism should not be seen as a political gain but a national decision to stop any act of violence as the country positioned itself for the next general election.

Speaking to the Daily Graphic, the Chairman and Leader of the GCPP, Dr Henry Herbert Lartey, said the party was willing and ready to throw its weight behind the government in its quest to put finality to the issue of political vigilantism.

"We as a party believe that this is the best time to deal with the vigilantism menace since election 2020 is a few months away.

 Ghana does need to belittle the issue any further," he said.

Background

The issue of political vigilantism has become a major concern to Ghana following the violence that erupted during the recent Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

Following the violence, many Ghanaians, including civil society groups and organisations, came out to express their displeasure at the menace and called for a national dialogue to address the issue.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, at the State of the Nation's Address (SONA) this year, made the call to the leadership of the two main political parties — the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) — to meet and find ways to disband vigilante groups affiliated to them.

As part of his effort to disband vigilantism, the President  also directed the Attorney-General, Ms Gloria Akuffo, to prepare and submit to Parliament specific legislation to deal with the phenomenon of vigilantism in the country and to provide appropriate sanctions.

Few days after, a bill to disband vigilantism was laid before Parliament for consideration and approval under a certificate of urgency.

This is coming at a time the NPP and the NDC have initiated meetings over the disbandment of vigilante groups affiliated to their parties.

GCPP stand

Dr Lartey said the call for disbanding vigilantes groups was the right decision made by the President and stressed that it was needful to protect the country against any form of internal conflicts.

He said Ghana was bigger than any political party and that it would be suicidal for any group or party to put its interest ahead of the nation.

"That is why as a party we are excited that the President made that bold move.

 We believe that the legislation to ban vigilantism is the best option now since the country cannot wholeheartedly rely on the NPP and NDC to do the right thing," Dr Lartey said.

He said the party had received documents on the disbandment of vigilante groups and added that the "GCPP was determined to support the move to end vigilantism.

Dr Lartey also called on Ghanaians not to allow their political affiliation to cause divisions among them but rather come together and agree on any decision that would propel the nation.