The Liberal People’s Party (LPG) has said the ongoing dialogue between the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) as part of efforts to ban political vigilantism is not necessary.
The party explained that the power to ban any form of violence or militia groups affiliated to political parties relied mainly in the hands of the government, and added that “all that the government needs to do is to put in place a law and ensure its enforcement”.
“Asking political parties like the NDC and NPP to agree on any modalities and also work together to end political vigilantism should not have even happened because the future of Ghana cannot be left in the hands of two parties,” the Leader of the LPG, Mr Percival Kofi Akpaloo, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic.
He said the government had the power and the resources to end political vigilantism regardless of what any political party would say or do.
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The issue of political vigilantism has become a major concern to Ghana following the violence that preceded 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 NDC and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) — to meet and find ways to disband vigilante groups affiliated to them.
As part of efforts to disband vigilantism, the President also directed the Attorney-General, Ms Gloria Akuffo, to prepare and submit to Parliament specific legislations 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.
In the developed nations, Mr Akpaloo said, no government “pampers political parties by allowing them or their supporters to create confusion”.
He said the sole responsibility of peace and order relied in the hands of the government and that no government would even involve political parties when the security of the nation was concerned.
“That is why as a party we respect and applaud the move by the government to initiate the bill on the ban of vigilantism. This is good because whether the NPP or NDC agrees, there will still be a ban on it,” Mr Akpaloo said.