The Vice president, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia has admitted, both the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and all other political parties cannot be exonerated from the current phenomenon of political vigilantism in the country.
The phenomenon has seen the youth groups, whom legal brain and member of the Emile Short Commission of inquiry, Prof. Henrietta Mensa – Bonsu has described as “party militias, engage in violent activities, mostly involving supporters of the NPP and the NDC.
Their activities in recent have received a lot of backlash from individuals, Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), religious heads and international bodies. In January this year, there was a violent clash during a by – election at La – Bawaleshie in the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in Accra.
The clash saw attacks meted out on individuals, making some of them sustain gun – shot wounds, while a Member of Parliament, Sam George was also assaulted by National Security operatives, some of whom have been said to belong to NPP’s vigilante group.
Last month, Wasiru was shot dead, while another person sustained wounds at the Ashanti Regional Office of the NDC at Amakom. The shooting incident is said to have occurred during a meeting between the National Chairman, General Secretary, a Deputy General Secretary and the Regional Executive Committee.
Against this backdrop and heightened call for the disbandment of such groupings within the body politics of the country, Dr. Bawumia has admitted that, no political party can be excused from the phenomenon of political vigilantism in the country.
Delivering a speech at the 51st Anniversary ceremony of the birth of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) by Sheikh Abdul Wahud in Kumasi over the weekend, he stated, “No political party can be excused from the rise of in political vigilantism. We will equally blame NPP, NDC and all political parties are to be blamed.”
“Unfortunately, this does not help us as zongo and Muslim community – what concerns us as a people should be our education, getting jobs and being able to grow our business. When the politicians come, let’s ask them about their message,” he added, while, urging the Muslim youth to be “positive ambassadors of our great religion by eschewing violence and intolerance.”
The veep stressed, saying, “under no circumstance should we allow ourselves to be used as destructive tools to perpetuate violence and all sorts of unacceptable acts. I want to urge the youth who are involved in the operations of the various political parties to exhibit great sense of tolerance, whether it is intra – party, or inter – party contest. For the Zongo and Muslim youth, it is even more important, and an obligation to be tolerant and peaceful in accordance with the teachings of our beloved Prophet Muhammad,” Dr. Bawumia stated.
It is instructive that the politicians who encourage political vigilantism and recruit such persons do not involve their children in such activities, Vice president Bawumia pointed out, adding, “They come to you and tell you to go and perpetuate violence and other acts while their own children are in school, doing good jobs or abroad working to better their lives. When these politicians come to you, ask them why they are not using their own children to do what they’re asking you to do.”
The politician and economist, also sounded a note of caution to persons engaged in such activities, emphasising that President Akufo-Addo has publicly indicated his resolve to crack down on political vigilantism, and will deal ruthlessly with anyone engaged in such activities.
He indicated that, government, will continue to invest in policies and programs designed to provide jobs and improve Ghana’s human capital, including the Free Senior High School program, Planting for Food and Jobs, One Village One Dam, and the Nation Builders Corps (NABCO).
The veep revealed that, government is set to undertake massive infrastructural development in the roads and other construction sectors this year, to “create employment opportunities for many of our skilled and unskilled youth across the country.”