General News of Saturday, 17 November 2018
General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Neketia says his party is open to discussions which will bring about the end of political vigilante groups in Ghana.
“…We are not shutting the door of negotiations that will help in ridding the country of vigilante groups to allow the security agencies to discharge their duties as expected of them,” he said at the party’s National Delegates Congress on Saturday.
Asiedu Nketia, at the NDC’s 9th Congress, complained that former government appointees and sympathizers of the party have suffered at the hands of vigilante groups aligned to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), hence their resolve to also form new ones.
The NDC recently formed a vigilante group called the Hawks to provide security services for the party; a decision which has been criticized by civil society groups.
Already members of the NPP’s Delta Force have been in the news for some acts of vandalism and attacks.
According to Asiedu Nketia, the NDC also formed its security group, the Hawks to protect its members since numerous calls on the NPP to disband its vigilante groups have proved futile.
“Over the past two years we have persistently joined like-minded Ghanaians to call on the government to disband its vigilante groups but all these went unheeded. We caution that should they refuse to do so we will be compelled to take steps to defend ourselves. As is common knowledge now, members of our party have begun forming similar groups to protect their members and their properties,” he added.
Delegates of the NDC are currently assembled at the Trade Fair Centre in Accra to elect executives to lead the party at the national level for the next four years.
Asiedu Nketia is seeking re-election but is facing stiff competition from his deputy, Koku Anyidoho.
Over 60 NDC stalwarts are all vying for various positions in the party.