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General News of Monday, 4 March 2019

Source: Graphic.com.gh

Peace Council welcomes request to facilitate dialogue process to disband vigilante groups

The National Peace Council (NPC) has welcomed the request by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to mediate in the process to disband vigilante groups in the country. The Chairman of the NPC, Most Reverend Emmanuel Asante, in a telephone interview said the call by the NDC was within the mandate of the NPC, therefore, it was ready to facilitate the dialogue between the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the NDC to ensure that there was peace in the country.

President’s call

Delivering the State of the Nations Address last month at the Parliament House, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo called on the leadership of the NPP and NDC to come together and agree on the appropriate measures needed to salvage the nation from the phenomenon of vigilantism.

NDC proposal

Responding to the President’s call in a letter last Friday, the National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, proposed that the NPC mediated the process that would lead to disbanding of political vigilante groups.

He said the opposition party agreed with the President in principle and would avail itself to an invitation by the President for that purpose.

In the letter, Mr Ofosu Ampofo said due to mistrust and suspicion among political parties, a body such as the NPC would be appropriate to facilitate the process.

He further proposed in the letter that the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center(KAIPTC), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) and the Institute for Democratic Governance ( IDEG) joined the NPC to facilitate the process.



We are ready

Rev. Asante said the NPC was instituted to facilitate such dialogues in view of the peace of the country, therefore the proposal by the NDC is in line with the mandate and so they welcomed it.

He said the council would, however, wait to hear from the other stakeholders, including the NPP, if they were comfortable to allow the NPC to facilitate the talks.

"We will wait to hear from the other stakeholders because it was a call by the President and so if the President and the NPP are comfortable with us facilitating the process, we will come and assist to ensure that there is peace," he stated.

Reaction on leaked audio recording

When asked about the alleged leaked audio recording, purported to have the voice of the NDC National Chairman, Mr Ofosu Ampofo, Most Rev. Asante said such comments were "worrying" if they were truly coming from him.

"I will not pretend that it is not worrying. If an institution is committed to do its work in a neutral way and people misunderstand them and look at it from a different perspective then it is worrying", he said.

In the said audio, Mr Ofosu Ampofo allegedly urged the NDC communicators to unleash insults on Rev. Asante.

Nonetheless, Rev. Asante said such statements would not dissuade the NPC from doing what was best in the interest of the country.