The Executive Director of the Danquah Institute, Richard Ahiagbah says the Akufo-Addo administration deserves commendation for showing leadership in tackling political vigilantism.
In a Citi News interview, Mr. Ahiagbah said the introduction of the Vigilantism and Related Offences law was enough evidence of the President’s desire to fight vigilantism.
“If people are saying that they want the President to show leadership, I am interested in that. And the question I ask is what kind of leadership do you want him to show that he hasn’t shown? So by that, you reference to what he has done. And when I say done, he’s called for a legislation to be passed to criminalize the act. Is that leadership? I say yes. We have institutions [in charge of that] but the President has taken the initiative which is his job to bring a legislation. Is that leadership? I say yes,” he said.
His comments come despite the findings of a survey from the Center for Democratic Development (CDD) indicating that vigilante activities in Ghana.
The vigilante groups are mainly affiliated to the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC).
Vigilantism and Related Offences Act
Political vigilante groups with affiliation to the two leading political parties, the NDC and the NPP have consistently been the cause of various forms of disturbances across the over the last two decades.
The two leading political parties were engaged by the Peace Council to find a way to address the menace of political party vigilantism.
Before the dialogues concluded, President Nana Akufo-Addo, gave his assent to the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019, which bans acts of vigilantism in the country.
The Act was passed by Parliament after the President gave indications that he will be forced to use the legal option to address the phenomenon if the two parties failed to meet over the issue.
Per the new law, “a person who directly or indirectly instigates or solicits the activity of a vigilante, facilitates or encourages vigilantism, or conceals a vigilante to avoid lawful arrest, commits an offence, and is liable, on conviction, to a term of imprisonment of not less than ten (10) years and not more than fifteen (15) years.”
Accept roadmap for ending vigilantism
The National Peace Council had earlier called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC) to endorse and adopt the Draft Roadmap and Code of Conduct on political vigilantism.
The document was developed by a Technical Committee as part of a dialogue aimed at ending political vigilantism.
The Chairman of the National Peace Council, Professor Emmanuel Asante said the document will assist existing legislations and other frameworks on ending the menace.