General Secretary of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), has criticized the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE) for condemning his recent endorsement of some newly formed vigilante groups of the party.
The NCCE had condemned Mr. Nketia’s endorsement in a statement released on Friday, September 8, 2018
Mr. Nketia endorsed the vigilante groups as a “natural response” to, what he described as the governing New Patriotic Party’s refusal to disband its own vigilante groups.
“I endorse it fully”, Mr. Asiedu Nketia told journalists, justifying that it’s a “proper response” to the “recalcitrance of the ruling government and their refusal to do anything about vigilantes on the NPP side”.
The NCCE subsequently indicated in a statement that it was “saddened” by this development which goes contrary to nationwide condemnation of political party vigilantism prior to the 2016 general election.
“The NCCE, as an independent governance institution, vehemently condemns the statement endorsing the formation of the NDC vigilante groups. The Commission takes the opportunity to once again, remind all political parties of their responsibility towards the preservation of peace, law and order in our democratic dispensation,” the statement said.
Mr. Nketia in a statement to respond to the NCCE’s concerns however wondered why the latter had remained silent about the “various episodes of terrorism, intimidation and brutalization” of NDC functionaries by NPP vigilante groups.
“So where was the NCCE in 2015, when the then Candidate Akufo-Addo recruited and brought in mercenaries to train and establish the para-military wings of the New Patriotic Party. We didn’t hear the NCCE when the South African mercenaries were arrested and deported.
“Several attempts to get the moral society to speak and condemn this act of forming a terrorist group proved futile; their Rambo styled attacks against NPP persons purported to be against candidate Akufo-Addo was replete in the daily news reportage.”
Mr. Nketia indicated that the NDC will only disband vigilante groups “provided…President Akuffo Addo shows signs of readiness to protect the lives and property of NDC members by disarming and disbanding the NPP’s numerous vigilante groups”
“Unfortunately, this NCCE condemnation has come in rather too late in the day. We have allowed the NPP to perpetrate these acts of injustice to our members for far too long. We shall not miss any opportunity to protect the lives and property of our people. Whiles we are guided by the saying that ‘he who seeks peace, must prepare for war’, we wish to serve notice of our cautious adoption of all the groups formed by our members to protect the interest of our party.”
Earlier reports had pointed out the emergence of a vigilante group at Asamakanse in the Eastern Region believed to have ties to the NDC.
This followed the outdooring of a different group in Kumasi known as “The Hawks” during the NDC Unity Walk in the Ashanti Region.
The NDC had however dissociated itself from this group.
Observers have urged the NDC and the governing New Patriotic Party, two known culprits in this regard, to dissolve all vigilante groups within their respective parties.
Most members of such groups are known to be supporters of Ghana’s two main political parties.
Below is the statement of the NDC
7TH September, 2018
For Immediate Release:
NDC RESPONDS TO NCCE STATEMENT ON POLITICAL PARTY VIGILANTISM
The NDC has taken a rather regrettable notice of the Press Statement issued by the National Commission for Civic Education under the heading “NCCE CONDEMNS RE-EMERGENCE OF POLITICAL PARTY VIGILANTE GROUPS”.
First of all, we welcome the new awakening of organizations like the NCCE to an over-grown menace of Political Party Vigilantism in the country. Indeed, we are more encouraged and motivated by the fact that individual members of our party, have now taken charge of their personal security by organizing themselves into groups so as to provide adequate security for the lives and property of our party members. It is important to reiterate our support for any such group formed for this purpose.
As we may all be aware, this has been necessitated by the persistent and loud failure of the Akuffo Addo led NPP government to rain-in their para-military trained vigilante groups, who have since their electoral victory, virtually over-powered the state security and rendered them ineffective in their bid to protect life and property of fellow citizens.
We were all witnesses to the loud silence, the helpless response of the state security and the protection of the Judiciary, when the Delta Forces visited terror on the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator and their subsequent invasion of the Kumasi Circuit Court to free their colleagues who were being trialed for the brutalization of the said Security Coordinator.
These same NPP vigilante forces unlawfully seized two of our party vehicles under bizarre circumstances, which said vehicles are still in the custody of the flagstaff house security, even after submission of all vehicle documentation to the transport officer at the Flagstaff House.
They again brutally invaded the residence of our Member of Parliament for Asunafo South Mr. Eric Opoku and visited mayhem amidst gunshots on the occupants of the house and other NDC faithfuls, we can only remember loud silence of President Akuffo Addo and how helpless the police looked on in this matter.
We have all been witnesses to the various episodes of terrorism, intimidation and brutalization of our functionaries by these NPP vigilante groups and not on any single occasion did we see an attempt by the NCCE or any section of moral society to condemn these acts of terrorism from these NPP vigilante groups.
So where was the NCCE in 2015, when the then Candidate Akuffo Addo recruited and brought in mercenaries to train and establish the para-military wings of the New Patriotic Party. We didn’t hear the NCCE when the South African mercenaries were arrested and deported. Several attempts to get the moral society to speak and condemn this act of forming a terrorist group proved futile; their Rambo styled attacks against NPP persons purported to be against Candidate Akuffo Addo was replete in the daily news reportage.
Unfortunately, this NCCE condemnation has come in rather too late in the day. We have allowed the NPP to perpetrate these acts of injustice to our members for far too long. We shall not miss any opportunity to protect the lives and property of our people.
Whiles we are guided by the saying that ‘he who seeks peace, must prepare for war’, we wish to serve notice of our cautious adoption of all the groups formed by our members to protect the interest of our party.
However, we wish to emphasize our readiness to order the disbandment of these groups provided and only if, President Akuffo Addo shows signs of readiness to protect the lives and property of our members by disarming and disbanding the NPPs numerous vigilante groups; arresting and prosecuting all NPP members who have been cited for various breaches of the law through vigilantism; including the forcible release of NPP suspects from police custody, the forcible ejection of some Chief Executive Officers of State Owned Organizations from their offices and providing appropriate operational environment for State Security agencies to regain their control and mandate in protecting life and property of the citizenry.
Long Live the NDC!!
Long Live our Peace and Security!!
Long Live our Democracy!!
Long Live Ghana!!
Hon Johnson Asiedu-Nketiah