Denounce all vigilante groups – IGP
Mr David Asante-Apeatu, the Inspector General of Police (IGP), on Thursday asked political parties to denounce all vigilante groups with immediate effect.
Subsequently, he cautioned that violence that breaches the peace, causes harm to innocent citizens and sometimes death in the name of politics would no longer be tolerated.
At a media briefing on security issues in the country, Mr Asante-Apeatu implored the political parties to refrain from creating new vigilante groups as their activities had effect on national security.
“Vigilante groups are illegal and we are declaring zero tolerance against political vigilantism,” he said.
As part of steps to deal with the situation, he said the Police Administration would arrest and profile any group of people claiming to be vigilantes, irrespective of their political affiliation.
He said the entire Police Administration was worried about the ease with which people politicised criminality to win the sympathies of political party supporters.
Mr Asante-Apeatu noted that the Police Service, since the unfortunate election-related violence in Ayawaso West Wuogon, had work in silence towards finding lasting solution to the issue.
“This approach was to allow space for the Public, Government, Civil Societies, the Media, International Communities and other stakeholders to share their suggestions on addressing the menace,” he added.
“The Police is responsible for enforcing the law and will not shirk its responsibility to fight political violence.”
Mr Asante-Apeatu recalled that the country had experienced some terror unleashed by some vigilante groups in all its elections, saying; “The truth is that if you prescribe a security solution to a politically motivated problem you may only be reducing the pain but not curing the disease.”
He urged all and sundry to support the Police to curb the menace once and for all as security was a collective responsibility.
“We must unite against recklessness, vandalism and vigilantism in defence of our democratic principles,” he said.
Responding to a question bordering on a section of the public asking for his resignation to pave way for smooth investigations into the Ayawaso West Wougon incidence, the IGP said it was not in his power to resign as his position was enshrined in the Constitution and it was only Parliament that could amend that clause.
He said the Police Service, as part of its strategic plans, would institute a media friendly approach to broaden the scope of communication with the public.
The IGP called for calm and assured the public of its utmost commitment to upholding its mandate of ensuring the peace and security of the nation as well as protecting the fundamental human rights of the citizenry.