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Politics of Monday, 4 March 2019


Vigilantism cannot be curbed with legislation – Dr. Aning

Security analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning says legislating as a means to curb vigilantism will not work without proper recourse to what leads to the formation of such groups.

According to Dr. Aning, the issue of vigilantism is deep-rooted, hence, it ought to be tackled from what breeds the vigilante groups, instead of just passing legislation to clamp down on their activities.

He was responding to question on the way forward in dealing with vigilantism when he appeared before the Commission of Inquiry investigating incidents that led to violent activities during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election.

His comments come on the back of President Akufo-Addo’s directive to the NDC and NPP, major beneficiaries of vigilante activities, to disband the militia groups or he would legislate on their activities.

Dr. Aning noted that it is important to deal with the situation in a more systematic manner, instead of trying to tackle the situation within the shortest possible time.

“Legislation just cannot end this process of vigilantism. We need a sober long term process."

“It has gotten roots in our society, creating economic incentives, and people use that. Therefore, we need a sober long term process in which we create trust first, come round the table, start having the conversation and begin the process of the specific issue areas that we need to tackle, and that takes a lot of time,” Dr. Aning stated.

He further said the creation of vigilante groups stem from the lack of trust in security agencies by political parties whom these vigilante groups represent.

“Because both parties have been in power and know what government does to the security setup, in opposition, they know what the government could do and this creates a sense of insecurity and also leads to the arming and training of these militias.

“This has over time represented the lack of trust in our politics, and in the statutory security forces,” Dr. Aning explained.

Dr. Aning also noted that in order to deal with vigilantism, it will not be out of order to ask for help from the United Nations and other bodies in fighting the menace.