Ghanaians Have Had Enough of Political Vigilante Groups And Their Violent Acts
Recent despicable acts of violence perpetrated by the Karaga and Sissala East youth wings of the ruling NPP were not in the least surprising; there was nothing new here. This kind of abhorrent behavior was expected. After all, we are living in different political times where vigilante groups closely allied with major political parties hold sway.
There is no ounce of difference between the Karaga and Sissala East boys and their colleagues in the south, the Delta 13, who were slapped with a laughable fine by a district court in Kumasi barely a fortnight ago. They are all birds of the same feather, bind by a common goal.
What has emerged from these acts of violence is this indisputable truth: NPP affiliated vigilante groups are increasingly demonstrating a willingness, a desire to defy the laws of the land and do as they please if things don’t go their way.
They have no worry in the world; they consider themselves an integral part of the government and strongly feel that no harm can come to them, not even the nation’s security agencies will dare raise a finger against them.
The tendency by some to blame our security agencies, particularly the police service, for not doing enough to combat the NPP vigilante groups is outrageous and offensive. Our policemen and women desperately want to bring these NPP wrongdoers and degenerates to justice, but their hands are tied, politically speaking.
Of course, the young men in Karaga and Sissala East don’t take their marching orders from the NPP headquarters or from the presidency.
But they are emboldened by the inability of the government to rein them in for their acts of violence. They act on impulse and without reason or deliberation. Youthful exuberance is always the lame excuse they give for their obnoxious and deplorable behavior. But enough with that charade.
These routine display of violence, machoism, and blatant disregard for our laws, norms and values, are part and parcel of the overall agenda of the NPP vigilante groups and are designed in large part, to intimidate opponents and coerce authorities.
What is most troubling about this problem of vigilante groups is the glaring failure of the President, Mr. Nana Akuffo Addo, to come out and by executive order, boldly declare them illegal and an affront to our democracy.
But all Ghanaians have seen Mr. Addo do each time these vigilante groups brazenly break our laws, is to come out with a prepared statement condemning them and distancing himself from their acts of violence.
He does not go beyond that. Never has. There are some fundamental questions that should naturally be asked of the President. What is preventing Mr. Addo from disbanding these groups? Is he scared stiff of the repercussions that will ensue?
Well, Mr. Addo’s inaction is nothing short of gross ineptitude. We expect our president to protect us from threats of violence, but he is failing miserably in this regard. Clearly, the boys in Karaga and East Sissala exploited the government’s inattention, weakness and vulnerability to settle scores and disrupt law and order.
Lets face it; political vigilantism has become an ugly feature on the political landscape and there is mounting evidence that vigilante groups pose a threat to the peace and stability of our country. Each act of political vigilantism signifies a breakdown of law and order in our society.
We therefore call on President Addo to starve these NPP party boys of material and financial support, the oxygen that keeps them going. Ghanaians are exhauted, and that is putting it mildly.
Ghanaians want these boys treated like the common criminals that they are. And, for once, Mr. President, listen to our cries for concrete action against the growing cancer of political vigilantism.