Founder and General Overseer of Perez Chapel, Bishop Charles Agyin-Asare has said he supports President Nana Akufo-Addo’s call on the two leading political parties to begin a process towards disbanding vigilante (vigilantism) groups in the country.
President Akufo-Addo while delivering his State of the Nation Address in Parliament said he had instructed the leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to extend an invitation to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to discuss how to disband their respective vigilante groups.
“I want to use the platform of thisessage 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,” he said.
President Akufo-Addo promised to use legislation to stop the phenomenon of political vigilantism if the two parties fail to stop it voluntarily.
“I have asked the leadership of the NPP to extend an invitation to the leadership of the NDC for such a meeting. 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,” he said.
Speaking at the thanksgiving service, Bishop Agyin Asare welcomed the President’s decision, and further suggested a multi-pronged approach towards ending vigilantism.
“Ghana’s democracy does not need vigilantes and vigilantism. It is in this light that I welcome President Nana Akufo-Addo’s call for the two leading political parties, the NDC and the NPP to begin a common process towards disbanding all party militias or vigilante groups in the country as soon as possible. I suggest a multi pronged approach towards this effort.”
Former President John Dramani Mahama also indicated at the gathering that the NDC is willing to attend a bi-partisan meeting which will ostensibly seek to end political vigilantism in the country.
Mr. Mahama said the NDC will ensure that objectives of the discussions at the meeting which will be held with the New Patriotic Party (NPP) are “upheld.”
“We have a written a letter to the President and we say that the National Peace Council is the best organization to preside over the talks on disbanding vigilantism. NDC is going into that conference in good faith,” said the former President.