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General News of Thursday, 6 April 2017


Vigilante groups threatening national security – CODEO

The Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) is calling on the Police Service to disband all security and vigilante groups within political parties in the country.

According to a communique issued by participants of CODEO stakeholder review workshop on Ghana’s 2016 Presidential and general elections, the existence of these groups threatens the security of the country and as such, political parties who are responsible for its emergence should co-operate with law enforcement agencies to for its disbandment.

“The existence of political vigilante groups is illegal and the Ghana Police Service should ban and disband these groups immediately as a matter of national security. The leadership of the NPP and NDC who are largely responsible for the emergence of these groups in the 4th Republic should own up to their responsibilities and work together with the police to disband all politically affiliated vigilante groups,” the communique as presented by Justice VCRAC Crabbe and Prof. Miranda Greenstreet at a press conference in Accra read.

Although the constitution frowns on the formation of private armies in the country, Action Troopers, Invincible Forces, Kandahar Boys, Azorka Boys, among other vigilante groups, have become an entrenched presence in the country’s politics as they swing to action after their party is voted into power.

In July 2015, the Azorka Boys and Bolga Bulldogs clashed during a bye-election at Talensi in the Upper East Region.

Some members of the Invincible Forces took control of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) to provide security for the place few hours after the New Patriotic Party (NPP) was declared winner of the 2016 presidential poll.

Recently, the Delta Force stormed the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council to stop Mr George Agyei, who has been appointed as the Regional Security Coordinator, from performing his duties.

Godfred Asante, Secretary of Action Troopers Security, a vigilante group within the governing NPP is on record to have said that vigilante groups serve as a source of livelihood for some individuals and must not be disbanded.

However, CODEO asserts that the operation of these groups, leaves dire national security implications on the country. It has suggested that the Inspector General of Police be made independent for the enforcement of the law without any fear of being removed from office.

“In the medium to long term, there should be a concerted effort amongst key election stakeholders to make the Inspector General of Police independent by insulating him/her from political inference by securing his/her tenure across regimes and ensuring such appointments are transparent and consultative,” the communique added.