General News of Wednesday, 2 August 2017
Participants in a roundtable discussion held by the Coalition of Domestic Election Observers (CODEO) have observed that political party vigilantism poses a serious threat to the country, and have reinforced calls for their disbandment.
They said vigilante groups are getting more sophisticated with arms, a situation which if left unchecked, could lead to their growth into terrorist groups.
The observations were part of concerns raised by various stakeholders at CODEO’s seventh Roundtable Discussion of the year, dubbed ‘The Menace of Political Party Vigilantism and Ghana’s Electoral Politics’, held at Cape Coast in the Central Region on Thursday.
The stakeholders included representatives of all security agencies in the Region, civil society organisations, political parties and the media.
According to the participants, the growing menace of political vigilantism threatens to the Police Service which many believe has suffered massive political manipulations over the years.
Briefing the media after the roundtable discussion, a member of the Advisory Board for CODEO and former National Security Coordinator, Kofi Bentum Quantson, lamented, “You look at what is happening in our country, and you ask yourself if there are patriots in Ghana. If you love your country, will you ask people to beat up others?”
He added, “The word patriotism should permeate through all our interventions in dealing with vigilantism because it involves thuggery. If you look at what is happening in this vigilantism business, you also see arrogance and impunity: we will do it damn the consequences.”