Political leaders must rise up against vigilante groups – Ablakwa

The Member of Parliament for North Tongu has called on political leaders to rise up against the activities of vigilante groups affiliated to them.

Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa said these groups, backed by some political parties, need to be disbanded because they have no legal basis.

He cited Article 200 of the 1992 Constitution which establishes the police service and other security agencies to back his argument.

Article 200(2) says: “No person or authority shall raise any police except by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament.”

Contributing on Joy FM/MultiTV’s news analysis programme Newsfile Saturday, the legislator said the continuing operation of these groups is “troubling.”

“We no longer can countenance the existence of these groups and no explanation or justification for their operation [is acceptable],” he said.

There are several vigilante groups in the country that serve as the security arm of especially the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and National Democratic Congress (NDC). The operation of the groups such as Azorka Boys, Bolga Bulldogs, Invincible Forces and Delta Forces has become violent and bloody.

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

Some members of NPP’s Invincible Forces also took control of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Authority (DVLA) days after candidate Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was declared the winner of the 2016 presidential poll.

On Friday, another NPP-linked group, Delta Forces, stormed the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) to drive out the newly appointed Regional Security Coordinator, George Agyei.

Some members of Delta Force after the Friday attack

The group said it could not work with the new coordinator because he was not “part of the struggle” to bring the NPP into power.

PRO of the Ashanti Regional Police Command, ASP Yaw Nketia, said they have taken charge of the situation and are investigating the matter to arrest perpetrators.

He told Joy News Mr Agyei had been to a physician and cleared of any harm from the attack.

Mr Ablakwa, a former Deputy Education Minister, said the government and political parties can no longer remain silent about activities of vigilante groups.

NPP MP for Tempane, Joseph Dindiok Kpemka

He warned of dire consequences if the groups are not dissolved since that was how Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram started.

He explained Boko Haram was funded by politicians when it started as a vigilante group and later turned radical.

On his part, NPP MP for Tempane, Joseph Dindiok Kpemka, described the Delta Force attack as an “unfortunate event.”

“A full-scale investigation will be conducted into this matter [and] I am having the greatest confidence that it will be dealt with,” he said.

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