The National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) has condemned the endorsement of party vigilante groups by the General Secretary of the main opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), Johnson Asiedu Nketia.
Mr Nketia endorsed the formation of the Hawks, Dragons and Lions, all vigilante groups within the party as a “natural response” to the governing New Patriotic Party’s refusal to disband its own vigilante groups.
“I endorse it fully”, Mr Asiedu Nketia told journalists, justifying that it’s a “proper response” to the “recalcitrance of the ruling government and their refusal to do anything about vigilantes on the NPP side”.
The NPP’s Invincible Forces and Delta Force groups ran amok when President Nana Akufo-Addo took office after the NPP won the 2016 elections.
In Mr Asiedu Nketia’s view, it was high time the NDC matched the NPP boot for boot.
The NCCE, in a statement, said it is “saddened” by this development which goes contrary to nationwide condemnation of political party vigilantism prior to the 2016 general election.
“The NCCE, as an independent governance institution, vehemently condemns the statement endorsing the formation of the NDC vigilante groups. The Commission takes the opportunity to, once again, remind all political parties of their responsibility towards the preservation of peace, law and order in our democratic dispensation,” the statement said.
The commission has, therefore, called on all political parties, especially the NPP and NDC, to disband existing vigilante groups with immediate effect.
“Security agencies must be proactive in clamping down on such illegal groups. Vigilantism will not promote national peace and security. Vigilantism breeds political tension and political intolerance with the tendency to destroy all the gains made under the 4th Republic.”
The NCCE entreated all political parties and the entire citizenry to seek to promote civic consciousness and stir up patriotism and nationalism among Ghanaians.
“We urge political parties to use their influence to promote adherence to peace and order among all groups in the country in order to safeguard the peace that we are enjoying,” the statement concluded.