The National Youth Organizer of the Opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), George Opare Addo, has described as needless, the Vigilantism Bill sent to Parliament by the Akufo-Addo government.
According to Opare Addo, there are enough laws in Ghana to deal with lawless youth; hence the creation of a new law is a waste of national resources.
Speaking to Citi News, Mr. Opare Addo said instead of passing new laws, the President should rather focus on enforcement by committing to existing laws.
“I think the President is putting the cart before the horse. Act 29, provides adequately for crimes that are perpetrated by citizens of this country. What we have seen in the last few years cannot be attributed to vigilantism under the watch of Nana Addo. It is thuggery. It is crime being committed by lawless vagabonds in this country. And our laws provide adequate positions. There are adequate measures to fight crime.
“The President must be forthcoming. He must be candid with us and tell Ghanaians what the truth and reality is because I do not know what this bill will do differently from Act 29. We do not need laws to fight crime because the laws are already in existence. What we need is the commitment and making sure the laws that are existent are put to work.”
The government has presented to Parliament, a Bill outlining how it intends to deal with political party vigilantism in the country.
The Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akuffo laid the legislation on behalf of the government.
President Akufo-Addo declared that his government will use legislation to address political vigilantism if the two main political parties fail to resolve it through dialogue.
The Speaker of Parliament, Prof. Mike Oquaye referred the Bill to the Constitutional, Legal and Parliamentary Committee, indicating that the Attorney General and government had made an express request to have the legislation considered under a certificate of urgency.
NPP, NDC agree to end political vigilantism
The two major political parties, the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and New Patriotic Party (NPP) earlier this week met for the first time to dialogue and find out ways to end political vigilantism in the country.
The dialogue was mediated by the National Peace Council.
The NPP and the NDC among other things also agreed to stop the ownership, hiring and the utilization of vigilante and or militia groups by political members.
The chairman of the meeting, Samuel Kwadwo Boateng Asante told the media that: “After an open and exhaustive deliberation, the parties agreed that vigilantism is inimical to Ghana’s system and must be eradicated.”
“Significantly, both parties agreed to engage in deliberations aimed at :1.Disbanding vigilante groups operating within political parties or for political purposes. 2. Prohibiting the ownership, hiring or utilization of such groups by the political parties or members thereof; 3.Cooperating with state agencies and stakeholders in the total eradication of such groups or incidence of vigilantism in the country,” he added.
Legislation will not stop political vigilantism – Kwesi Anning
Security Analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning in an interview with Citi News last month expressed doubt with the potency of legislation in disbanding political party vigilante groups.
According to him, the phenomenon which has become deeply rooted in the country’s politics cannot simply be addressed with legislation.
“Legislation will just not end this process. It has gotten root in our society, creates economic incentives and people use that. And therefore we need a sober, long-term process in which we will create trust first, come round the table start having the conversion and then begin a dis-aggregation process of the specific issue areas that we need to tackle. That takes a lot of time,” he said.
By: Marian Ansah & Umaru Sanda Amadu| citinewsroom.com| Ghana