He said the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) should “come together, as soon as possible, to agree on appropriate measures to bring an end to this worrying and unacceptable phenomenon of vigilantism in our body politic.”
Delivering his message on the State of the Nation in Parliament, the President said recent violent events on the political scene had reinforced the urgent need to find a path that would put an end to politically-motivated violence in the country, as the situation would not inure to the benefit of Ghana’s fledgling democracy.
“I have asked the leadership of the NPP to extend an invitation to the leadership of the NDC for such a meeting,” he said.
“The time has come to put an end to the phenomenon of politically-related violence.”
President Akufo-Addo disclosed that the security services would be at hand to assist the two political entities to work on the modalities to end the phenomenon.
However, the President was emphatic that when voluntary disbandment of vigilante groups by the parties was not feasible, “then I will initiate legislation on the matter.”
Vigorous debate and the exchange of ideas should be the true basis of political dialogue and competition in our country, not the activities of party vigilante groups, the President said.
“Mr Speaker, what was tolerated over the years cannot and must not be accepted anymore… We must not take our peace and security for granted- not for a moment. Our children and grandchildren will not forgive us if we were to compromise our peace and stability,” he stated.
“I will not permit that to happen under my watch. Our forebears paid too high a price, with their blood and toil, to bequeath to us this beautiful nation; the lives of our citizens are too precious to waste.”
President Akufo-Addo expressed optimism that the findings and recommendations of the Emile Short-led Commission of Inquiry into the violence during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election would help deal with the matter.
“I hope the findings and recommendations of the Emile Short Commission will enable us chart a path to ending politically-related violence in our country.”