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Akufo-Addo "father of vigilantism"; his proposal "good but too simplistic" – Mahama

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Former President John Mahama has described President Nana Akufo-Addo as the “father of militant vigilantism” in Ghana.

President Nana Akufo-Addo, on Thursday told parliament during his third state of the nation address that the two main parties should meet to discuss the issue of party militias.

“I want to use the platform of this Message to make a sincere, passionate appeal to the leaders of the two main political parties in our country, NPP and NDC, to come together, as soon as possible, preferably next week, to agree on appropriate measures to bring an end to this worrying and unacceptable phenomenon of vigilantism in our body politic.

“I have asked the leadership of the NPP to extend an invitation to the leadership of the NDC for such a meeting on vigilantism. The security services of the country will be on standby to assist this meeting.

“If voluntary disbandment by the parties is not feasible, then I will initiate legislation on the matter. Vigorous debate and the exchange of ideas should be the true basis of political dialogue and competition in our country, not the activities of party vigilante groups. What was tolerated over the years cannot and must not be accepted anymore. We must not take our peace and security for granted — not for a moment. Our children and grandchildren will not forgive us if we were to compromise our peace and stability. I will not permit that to occur under my watch”, Mr Akufo-Addo said.

Commenting on the president’s proposed solution, Mr Mahama told Accra-based Radio Gold in an interview on Friday that although “good”, it was “too simplistic.” “It needs time and should be structured properly”.

“The two parties alone can’t deal with this issue. The vigilantes are embedded in the security services and so if you said we should disband it must involve other stakeholders”, Mr Mahama said, adding that: “He [the president] should take the initiative” because “it was the introduction of Akufo-Addo’s Bolga Bull Dogs among others that brought about the vigilantism”.

Mr Mahama said: “It will take other stakeholders like the Peace Council to disband this. NPP and NDC alone can’t dissolve it. We should find a way of delisting them from the National Security”.

The president’s proposed solution followed the recent gun violence that marred the 31 January 2019 Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in Accra in which 16 supporters of the NDC were shot by national security operatives as well as the shooting incident that killed one person during a meeting by national and regional executives of the NDC in the Ashanti Region last week.

Mr Mahama, however, said in dealing with party militias, “There should be good faith”, recounting that: “People were shot and injured and it’s criminal. The police should take up the criminal case. There is an attempt to equalise to what happened in Kumasi and that was purely criminal. What we see in Ayawaso Wuogon are cover-ups. The one who slapped Sam George by now police should invite him and take his statement. A whole MP?

Source:Ghana/AccraFM.com/100.5FM



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