NPP, NDC to dialogue over vigilantism today
The leadership of the two leading political parties, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are expected to meet today, Monday 29 April 2019 to dialogue on disbanding political vigilante groups.
Today’s meeting will be the second after an initial meeting held three weeks ago.
The meeting is expected to be facilitated by the National Peace Council.
After their first meeting on Tuesday, 9 April 2019 following a call on them by President Nana Akufo-Addo to do so, the Peace Council, which mediated the preliminary talks, and the two parties signed a communiqué that read thus: “The National Peace Council met with key members of the two main political parties in Ghana, namely the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in response to a call by the President of the Republic of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his state of the nation address to eradicate political vigilantism.
“After an open and exhaustive deliberation, the parties agreed that vigilantism is inimical to Ghana’s democratic system and must be eradicated.
“With respect to the immediate focus of the mediation or dialogue, the NDC is of the view that it should be the eradication of ‘political vigilantism in all its ramifications’ while the NPP is of the opinion that the focus should be ‘political party vigilantism in all its ramifications’.
“Significantly though, both parties agree to engage in deliberations aimed at:
1. disbanding vigilante groups operating within political parties or for political purposes
2. prohibiting the ownership, hiring, or utilisation 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 incidents of vigilantism in the country
“It should be noted that the two parties are also committed to exploring other processes in relation to the elimination of vigilantism”.
The two Chairmen of the NDC and NPP, respectively, Mr Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo and Mr Freddie Blay, signed on behalf of their parties.
The government has subsequently tabled before Parliament a bill to disband such groups.