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PRESIDENT ORDERS ACTION ON “VIGILANTISM”: ATTORNEY GENERAL TO TRIGGER NEW LAW

Politics

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Attorney General to prepare and submit to Parliament specific legislation to deal with the phenomenon of “vigilantism” and to provide appropriate sanctions against it.

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has directed the Attorney General to prepare and submit to Parliament specific legislation to deal with the phenomenon of “vigilantism” and to provide appropriate sanctions against it.

 

His directive followed a second letter, written by the National Democratic Congress and signed by its national chairman, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, in response to the President’s call on the NDC and the New Patriotic Party to jaw-jaw and find ways to end political vigilantism in Ghana.

“Since the constitutional responsibility of maintaining law and order in the country is that of the Executive, ie, the President of the Republic, I have, in line with my pronouncements to Parliament during the Message on the State of the Nation on 21 February 2019, instructed the Attorney General ‒ without prejudice to the outcome of the engagement, if any, between the NPP and NDC ‒ to prepare and submit to Parliament, as soon as possible, specific legislation to deal with the phenomenon of vigilantism,” the President said.

Public’s input

President Akufo-Addo added that the parliamentary process will provide opportunities for citizens to make input which should enable Parliament to enact a strong law.

He believes that if such laws are introduced, their implementation “will enable us to rid our nation of politically related violence ‒ a development that can only inure to the benefit of Ghanaian democracy and to the preservation of law and order”.

NDC jumps gun

Responding to the President’s call on the NPP and NDC to discuss ways to end political “vigilantism” in Ghana, Mr Ofosu-Ampofo accused the government of packing the country’s National Security Service with elements belonging to “vigilante” groups affiliated to the governing NPP.

He had claimed the problem had been brought to the fore during hearings at the Short Commission of Inquiry, which probed violence that erupted during the by-election in Ayawaso West Wuogon in January.

But the President rejected the accusation in a written response to the NDC chairman. “Firstly, contrary to your assertion, no evidence has been established at the ongoing Short Commission about the sponsorship by the New Patriotic Party of vigilantes into the national security system.

“No such sponsorship has taken place, and none will take place. In any event, it is surely prejudicial to the work of the Commission for citizens to start drawing conclusions on the material before the Commission, prior to the Commission making its own findings and recommendations on the matter,” the President said in his letter.

Winning record

Mr Ofosu-Ampofo had further alleged that the NPP planned to engage thugs to help it win the 2020 general election.

The President rubbished the accusation, saying the NPP will win elections not with the help of thugs, but through its superior record in government.

“No such directive has been given, nor will any such directive be given, and no such recruitment is taking place.

“Neither the New Patriotic Party nor I need political party thugs to win the 2020 election. We will do so on the basis of our record, our argument and our values,” he said.