The New Patriotic Party (NPP) has officially written to the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) to meet over the disbandment of vigilante groups within their parties.
This comes a month after President Nana Akufo-Addo directed the two major political parties in the country to dissolve the groups during his State of the Nation Address.
Activities of such groups have over the years has brought about electoral violence, leading to loss of lives and properties.
In NDC’s response to the call to dialogue over the menace of these militia groups, NDC national Chairman, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo requested the dialogue be mediated by an interlocutor such as the National Peace Council or other civil society organisations.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo said the disbandment was not only limited to the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress but to “all political parties, civil society organisations, representatives of the media, representatives of the military, police and other security agencies, as well as other relevant stakeholders”.
But President Akufo-Addo, in his reply, rather said he “had hoped that the proposed meeting would be without preconditions on either side” – a response analysts have criticised.
After weeks of the back and forth, the NPP in a statement signed by its General-Secretary, John Buadu has officially invited the NDC to a dialogue “and explore ways of permanently disbanding the various vigilante groups associated with Ghana’s two major political parties.”
The letter stated that the request of the NDC would be considered saying “We have also taken notice of your request to expand the scope of the engagement to Include multiple stakeholders, and wish to assure you that the NPP avails itself for this consideration at the meeting, which will afford the two parties the opportunity to agree on the various stakeholders to be invited in the subsequent engagements.”
Below is the statement;
INVITATION TO A MEETING ON THE SUBJECT OF ‘DISBANDMENT OF PARTY VIGILANTE GROUPS’
On behalf of the NPP, I am pleased to officially invite you (the NDC) to a meeting to discuss the menace of political vigilantism which has gained notoriety in The country, and explore ways of permanently disbanding the various vigilante groups associated with Ghana’s two major political parties.
This invitation has been necessitated not only by the President’s call during the 2019 State of the Nation’s Address, but also, by the legitimate concerns expressed by overwhelming Ghanaians about this menace, and the need for the two political parties to do the needful, in the interest of the nation.
You would recall that, since the President made this call, our National Chairman, Hon. Freddie Blay, has been engaging your good self in telephone conversations on the subject. We think that time is now rife for the parties to hold this crucial meeting, which the whole nation has been looking forward to.
We have also taken notice of your request to expand the scope of the engagement to Include multiple stakeholders, and wish to assure you that the NPP avails itself for this consideration at the meeting, which will afford the two parties the opportunity to agree on the various stakeholders to be invited in the subsequent engagements.
The NPP proposes that this crucial meeting comes off during this week, at a venue convenient to you. And so, we entreat you to as soon as possible, get in touch with the party when you find a suitable venue for this meeting.