A top delegation of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) has concluded talks with its militia groups in northern Ghana to halt political vigilantism.
The weeklong tour started in the Upper regions through to North East to Savannah and ended with a nightfall press conference in Northern regional capital, Tamale.
The National Organizer of the NPP, Sammy Awuku, led the team of national and regional organisers and their deputies. The tour followed as the NPP government continues to reel under heavy public condemnation for its handling of the nation’s security during a constituency by-election last month in the capital, Accra.
Speaking at the press conference to wrap up the tour, Mr. Awuku explained that he was acting upon instructions from the party’s national chairman, Mr. Freddy Blay and that of president Akufo-Addo, “to also engage our party folks, the vibrant youth and the many youth groups, opinion leaders spread across the five regions up north”, as part of the NPP’s genuine commitment to discourage activities of political party vigilantes.
Awuku said the mission of the regional engagements was to help bring down the “tension” and “pressure” in the country caused by the continued media spotlight on issues of political party vigilantism ahead of the 2020 elections.
He described activities of these political vigilantes as “unfortunate situation” and called for unconditional efforts from stakeholders, particularly the NDC party, to nib the growing national threat [vigilantism] in the bud.
He added: “NPP hasn’t played ostrich about the issue of political vigilantism, admitting that the party have had some of its groups engaged in politically motivated violence.”
“We in the NPP will do our part, and that’s why we’ve been in the north over the past six days engaging the various groups. Yesterday, we had the opportunity of engaging members and the leadership of the Kandahar members and the leadership of the invincible Forces. We did same in the Upper East – where we engaged members of the Rock and members of the Invincible in the Upper West.
“And our gentlemen and our men, they also see reason with Mr. President and see reason with the NPP leadership; and they’ve also resolved not to be aggressive. They’ve also resolved to also cooperate with party leadership, so we can eliminate this politically affiliated violence during by-elections and general elections”.
President won’t resign
Touching on a call by the Minority for the president to resign over a documentary exposing the alleged activities of a militia group at the Osu Castle, Awuku said the piece was overhyped and denied its claims.
“Again, let me use this opportunity to respond to the NDC’s Minority press conference saying and calling on the president to resign over the video or the latest investigative piece of my good friend and brother, Manasseh Azure Awuni. First of all, it’s unfortunate the call from the minority, because for us as a party, the NPP, hadn’t called any group called the De-Eye.”
He, however, thanked the investigative journalist for his efforts.
“There is this Dagomba proverb that, no matter how useless a man’s manhood is, is still useful because you can use it to urinate; meaning that, if there are still some few things we can pick from the documentary, for us in government, for us in NPP, we will not attack the investigative journalist. In fact, we thank him for also bringing some of the issues to the forth for us to also discuss.
“Where we disagreed with the documentary is where it classified this group as militia or vigilante. Also, back to the documentary, it does state that, this is a group that has been in existence for two years. I’m surprised that the group that’s being in existence for two years and they are training militia, they are training everyday, they’ve never been engaged in act of lawlessness or disturbances but instead, this is a group that in several occasions have press conferences to condemn their colleagues who use violence as a means of settling dispute,” he noted.