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NDC ready to meet NPP over disbanding vigilante groups but asks NPC to act as mediator

BY: Edward Acquah
Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, Chairman of National Peace Council
Most Rev Prof Emmanuel Kwaku Asante, Chairman of National Peace Council

The leadership of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) has expressed its readiness to meet with the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for discussion to commence on any day and venue regarding the disbandment of political vigilante groups in the country.

In a letter dated March 21, 2019, signed by the General Secretary of the party, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, and addressed to the General Secretary of the NPP, Mr John Boadu, the NDC, however, stated that it had requested the National Peace Council (NPC) to play a mediating role in the discussion.

“We have taken the liberty to request the National Peace Council to kindly exercise its statutory mandate and assume the role of Mediator in the deliberations on the above subject”

“We hold ourselves ready to meet your good selves at any venue and date the National Peace Council may propose,” the letter stated.

The letter

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The letter was in response to an earlier letter written to the party by the leadership of the NPP regarding the need for the two parties to meet within this week and commence discussion on the disbandment of political vigilante groups associated to them.

The NPP, in a letter dated March 15, 2019, proposed that the NDC choose a date, venue and the relevant stakeholders it deemed appropriate for the meeting.

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In response to the aforementioned request, the NDC in its letter expressed appreciation to the leadership of the NPP for corroborating its position that the discussion had to be a multi-stakeholder engagement.

Recall

It would be recalled that President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, in his third State Of the Nation Address on February 21, this year, directed the two parties to meet within the week of his speech to dialogue on disbanding party vigilantes.

He added that if the dialogue failed, he would initiate legislation on the matter.

After almost a week of not hearing from the NPP, the Chairman of the NDC, Mr Ofosu Ampofo, wrote to the President.

In his letter, Mr Ofosu Ampofo suggested that other political parties, civil society and the media should be invited to join the dialogue.

In his response, President Akufo-Addo said he saw no basis for the request given that the suggested groups did not have any “vigilante” groups.

As a result of the delay by both the NPP and the NDC to meet over the matter, the President has since directed the Attorney-General to draft legislation to tackle the menace of political vigilantism.