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General News of Saturday, 9 March 2019

Source: Myjoyonline.com

Lock up Akufo-Addo, former presidents until they solve militia issue - Ace Ankomah

A private legal practitioner has suggested that President Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo and his predecessors be made to lead the process of resolving the menace of political party militia in Ghana.

According to Ace Anan Ankomah, the political parties and their leaders are the “source” of these illegal groups and therefore are best placed to solve the problem.

But the two leading political parties, NDC and NPP, have denied owning party militias, claiming they [the militia] own allegiance to individuals in the party instead. Ankomah is not convinced.

Addressing this he said: “…you may not own them directly on paper but you know the boys, you know when to harvest them and use them.”

Proffering a solution to the menace, the lawyer suggested that the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, and ex-Presidents John Mahama, John Kufuor and Jerry John Rawlings go into conference with the National Chairmen of the two biggest parties until they find a solution.

He said no mediator should be added, “…they should mediate among themselves,” he stated.

Ankomah’s comments come at a time there is public outcry against party militarism.

This follows the January 31, by-election in the Ayawaso West Wuogon constituency, which turned bloody after some armed men stormed the residence of the opposition NDC candidate. The two main political parties have pointed accusing fingers at each other as being behind the melee.



While a Presidential Commission Chaired by Emile Short, a former Commissioner of the Commission for Human Rights and Administrative Justice is investigating what caused that violence, a member of the opposition NDC-affiliated militia, the Hawks recently shot and killed another NDC sympathiser at the Ashanti regional office of the party when the National Executives had gathered to resolve a misunderstanding among the regional executive.

Then on Thursday, Joy News premiered a documentary by celebrated investigative journalist, Manasseh Azure Awuni on how a private militia aligned to the governing NPP uses the former seat of government, the Christiansborg Castle as its breeding grounds.

President Nana Akufo-Addo has proposed a meeting of the two leading political parties aimed at voluntarily disbanding their militias failing which he will pass legislation to that effect.

However, contrary to the wishes of the President, Akufo-Addo, the NDC has amended his proposal to include all political parties, security organisations, civil society and the national peace council.

Akufo-Addo “surprisingly,” described this request as lacking basis.