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Opinions of Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Columnist: asempanews.com

Edmund Kyei writes on vigilantism: Koku Anyidoho is blinded by hypocrisy

It is very worrying and disheartening to hear the NDC and the likes of Koku Anyidoho talk about the subject of security and political vigilantism in a manner that paints a gloomy picture of the incumbent government when they themselves are not peaceful.

Clearly, all the noise by Anyidoho and his cohorts in the NDC is not a genuine move to forestall peace and tranquility in the nation as they appear to be doing; he is only capitalizing on the situation for political interest and favour in the eyes of the public.

NDC’s stance on the matter of vigilantism comes across as a biased position as it has over the years been an issue of concern for successive governments.

Everyone in this country from birth can attest to the fact that our political democracies under the two major parties NDC and NPP till today have had to deal with this and other security matters in the country.

Let’s take stock of various counts of vigilantism and violent clashes in this country over the years and the records will speak for itself.

The list is endless… Where was Anyidoho when candidate Akufo-Addo was pelted with stone in NDC stronghold during the 2016 election campaign? What did Former President Mahama do about it?

Does he remember the infamous "Kumi preku" protest which took the lives of four innocent persons and left several others injured in 1995? The then president and NDC founder JJ Rawlings justified it and the matter was swept under the carpet.

Let’s cast our minds back to the year 2009, where nine NDC supporters were arrested for clashes leading to casualties at a by-elections at Akwatia as reported by GNA, February 18, 2009.

A similar occurrence was recorded again in August 17th, 2009 at Agbogbloshie and when four NDC supporters were arrested, they were granted bail for those horrendous assaults.

If the government at the time (The NDC) looked on unconcerned, on what grounds is the NDC calling today's government “impotent” in handling security situation in the country?

Were we all not in this country when NDC supporters bathed NPP-Techiman North Secretary, Peter Mensah with acid on Oct 22, 2012.

Even the NDC’s own Aluta boys warmed president Mills not to travel to the Northern region in 2011, a threat the president sheepishly succumbed to at the time.

Apart from the Azorka boys’ record of locking up NHIS offices in Tamale 2015; these hoodlums (Azorka boys) attacked NPP supporters in Talensi by-elections and what the then Interior Minister, Mark Woyongo did was to jump to the defence of vigilante groups, (Azorka boys and Bolga Bulldogs), describing their actions as a pure case of “violence begets violence” in July 7th 2015.

That is not all, the NDC foot soldiers rioted and burnt down Radio Justice in Tamale over Haruna Iddrisu’s appointment and got away with it, so why is Koku Anyidoho and his hypocrite NDC all of the sudden creating the impression that vigilantism is a monster that was created under the NPP in 2017.

DID VIGILANTISM JUST COME TO GHANA IN 2017?

If fully armed-police at a polling station look on unperturbed as “macho men” snatch ballot boxes with casted ballot papers, then can it be said that they were already in the know of the event otherwise what can possibly justify their inaction to such a grievous offence?

If these happened under the time of the opposition NDC, then can’t we say the same of the then NDC government?

There were instances where people were apprehended for snatching ballot boxes or engaging in all sorts of electoral violence, but were subsequently reed by the police as a result of their association with the ruling party.

Where was loudmouth Koku Anyidoho during these times?

The NPP government under Nana Addo Dankwah DO NOT SUPPORT under any circumstance or condone such phenomenon in our country or in our body politics. The NPP leadership and government have shown massive commitment in tackling the canker and that must be recognize by all.

Political vigilantism has been with us for long and its an instance where organized armed or unarmed groups are deployed as private armed forces to safeguard the electoral prosperity of political parties in this country.

In the case of the NDC who have governed this country for over 29, they failed woefully in doing it and abused the positivity of political vigilantes to the detriment of the cherished citizens and political opponents alike.

It is indisputable that the security agencies in Ghana under the NPP government have demonstrated to a large extent their full commitment in discharging their roles professionally in curbing this situation.

We have witnessed what was done to the Invisible and Delta Force arrest as the judiciary was allowed to follow due process and defaulters duly punished.

Anyidoho and the NDC seem bungling and unenthusiastic to a lesser extent because they are no respecters of the law, and we all know it.

Edmund Kyei is a member of the NPP communication team