The outcome of the first meeting between the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) and opposition National Democratic (NDC) to disband party militia affiliated to them failed to meet expectations, NDC General Secretary has said.
Johnson Asiedu Nketia said although some progress was achieved at Tuesday’s meeting, the NDC had expected more from the first of many engagements on the roadmap to end party vigilantism.
“I wouldn’t say I am totally happy about the outcome of today’s meeting. But half a loaf is better than none so I would say that we will take the progress that has been made as an achievement and find ways of building on what we have achieved,” he said.
The two main political parties met to begin a process to disband all militia groups affiliated to them.
The talks was mediated by the National Peace Council in Accra and was in response to a directive by President Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to the two parties.
The President urged the parties to expressly disband militias affiliated to them, or he will be compelled to clamp down heavily on armed groups affiliated to the parties.
The President’s directive came on the back of the violence that characterised the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election in February.
Speaking on sister station Joy Fm, after Tuesday’s meeting, the NDC General Secretary said the opposition party went into the talks hoping that the NPP had accepted to involve multiple stakeholders in the militia disbandment process, but that was not the case.
Quoting from a letter the NPP wrote to the NDC prior to Tuesday’s meeting, Asiedu Nketia said the governing party had made the following submission in the March 15, 2019 letter:
“We have also taken notice of your request to expand the scope of the engagement to include multiple stakeholders and wish to assure you that the NPP avails itself for this consideration at the meeting which will afford the two parties the opportunity to agree on the various stakeholders to be invited in the subsequent engagements.”
Asiedu Nketia said the NDC went into Tuesday’s meeting thinking that, per the above statement in the letter, “the NPP has shifted its position from the dual party engagement to consideration for multiple stakeholder engagement,” but that was not the case.
The NPP, he said held its ground on limiting the deliberations on party militias the two main political parties. Mr Asiedu Nketia said that was unfortunate but said the two parties will build on the progress made.
Meanwhile, in a communique issued after the meeting, the National Peace Council said both parties have agreed to engage in deliberations.