The leadership of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) have been urged to take a decisive position and disband their political vigilante groups to save the nation from future acts of violence.
Reverend Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong, a Lecturer at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, said the two leaders, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo and former President John Dramani Mahama, whose parties were noted to have such vigilante groupings, must put a stop to their activities.
He said some members of Parliament have also won power through the acts of vigilantism resulting in some innocent people being harmed.
Rev Opuni-Frimpong, who is also the immediate past General Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana, said: “The two leaders are the only ones who can say enough is enough with these vigilante activities.”
Rev. Opuni-Frimpong was briefing the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra on his return from the Democratic Republic of Congo where he was part of an eight-member eminent African Religious team tasked by the All African Conference of Churches (ACC) in Nairobi, Kenya, to accompany church leaders to Congo to pursue post-election peace and reconciliation.
He said it was unfortunate that some members of the vigilante groups now wielded guns, shot and maimed others.
He noted that in war-torn countries like Congo, where violence became difficult to control, there were always outside militias and groupings that operated aside the main security apparatus who could be well coordinated or controlled.
Rev. Opuni-Frimpong said there was no need to formalise any of the political vigilantes but rather a total ban and disarming was what was needed to keep the country safe.
“We are not saying that they should not mobilise their people to run errands for them, especially during political rallies and campaigns, it is the act of militancy and violence that must stop”.
Rev. Opuni-Frimpong urged civil society groups, traditional leaders, business community and the media to continuously condemn vigilantism and demand the political parties to stop their operations before the general election in 2020.
“Ghana has a lot to learn from war torn countries like Congo, which was doing all it could to reverse the country into a peaceful atmosphere”.
He said the country had come very far, and serving as a good example for many African countries adding; “We should not do anything that would plunge the country into any unfortunate situation.”
Rev. Opuni-Frimpong appealed to all citizens to do all they could to allow Ghana’s democracy to work.
“Ghana’s democracy should work to a point that we will become a shining example on the African Continent,” he said.