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It’s time to muscle macho boys out of business; they threaten our democratic experiment


At long last, somebody is taking the bull by the horns; Ghanaian authorities, uniformed authorities, I should stressed, are finally saying what our politicians cannot muster courage to say; that the country has had enough of the politically connected MACHO BOYS.

That the Ghana Police Service and the Armed Forces are taking a stance against a problem–political vigilantism–that has been allowed to fester by their hapless civilian counterparts, politicians, is immensely gratifying.

What is more, this bold move is a recognition of the stark reality that the nation could descend into protracted political violence if the macho groups that are integral components of the two major political parties, the NDC and the NPP, are not stopped cold in their tracks.

Ghanaians should celebrate the acting Inspector General of Police for his bold pronouncement last week that he would seek legal clearance from the Ministry of Justice and the Attorney General’s office to disband political vigilante groups.

“Vigilante groups are illegal and unlawful,” IGP John Kudalor said. Nothing is further from the truth.

Equally worthy of mention and praise is the Chief of Defense Staff,  Vice Admiral Matthew Quarshie, who remarked that the armed forces of Ghana would not allow the nation to slip into violence come election time. This was a subtle warning to the Azorka Boys, the Invincible Forces and the assorted groups of enforcers.

Ghana desperately needs men of IGP Kudalor’s and Vice Admiral Quarshie’s courage and boldness. They are the only ones who can arguably protect the interests of the nation from the madness of the vigilante groups.

The paralysis that has gripped our politicians when it comes to reining in these “crazies” is astounding. Why is it so hard for our politicians to see the danger that their macho men pose to the nation? It is a crying shame that these politicians who should better, protect and vouch for these young rascals.

These are the basic facts about vigilante groups; they are undemocratic, they are a threat to our body politic and they give our democracy an ugly scar. Vigilante groups thrive on fear and intimidation, and their enablers, their supporters and financiers, the nation’s two major political parties, look the other way and pretend as if these macho idiots are choir boys.

We are eleven months removed from another monumental period in our history when we go the polls to reaffirm our confidence in President Mahama’s ability to run the country or to bring in a new cast of political characters. To this end, the political parties are jockeying for position, trying to win the hearts of Ghanaian voters. Political rhetoric is at all time high and insults are flying all over the political landscape.

Every imaginable scheme has been put in place by these parties to win political power and they will see to it that nothing derails their efforts even if it means using their vigilante groups to intimidate and scare voters at the polling stations.

Ghanaians, however, should not allow the political parties to dictate the terms of what is essentially a social contract. The politicians must be told in bold and uncertain terms that they would not be given the free rein to drag the nation into violence with the potential to destroy it beyond recovery. If, indeed, they want to win power, they must do so decently, honorably and at the ballot box.

The world would be watching to see if Ghana would go the way of our next door neighbor Ivory Coast and slip into violence if some politicians come up empty, without victory. We must prevent the gory post election political violence and carnage that we witnessed in Ivory Coast and Kenya.

Our only insurance against mayhem and chaos is our uniformed men and women who must spare no effort in clamping down hard on the vigilante groups and not allowing them an inch on election day to destroy the democratic experiment we have painstakingly built over the years. Simply put, the vigilante groups should be snuffed out.

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