Aftermath violence in Ghana orchestrated and masterminded by forces within and affiliated to political parties have risen to a frighten proportion in recent times.
This unfortunate development has the tendency to escalate into a nationwide character that, if not resolved, and curtailed could spell doom for our democracy in not too distant future.
Documented reports on the violent days of a group as Azoka Boys of NDC has gone on to inspire and nurture other groups like Bolga Bull Dogs, Invisible forces, Delta forces and other preposterous names they have for themselves with a short period.
I stand today as a peace loving Ghanaian in condemning the activities of these groups, but not oblivious of the key role(s) they play in our various parties about security especially during election periods. In as much as, we respect them for their near-voluntary services rendered to various political parties their end actions and reactions after elections is what needs to be scrutinized and avoided if possible.
These groups after elections have the wrong notion that once their party is in power, they have the licenses to ransack government offices,trigger confrontations and sack government appointees who are not from their party; forgetting that, there are rules and regulations, constitutional mandates and legal procedures to follow in other to retire someone from government post where necessary.
Places like the Democratic Republic of Congo today is unstable partly due to such politically motivated groups that have graduated into militia juntas. In the wake of brutal murdering, rape and looting in places like Liberia, Sierra Leone, Burundi and Angola it was the deadly activities of such so-called political vigilante groups that fuelled unimaginable atrocious crimes and brutalities.
Is Ghana also are we sitting aloof for a speedy germination of these mini groups into powerful militias and uncontrollable forces before we hue and cry for solutions? Are we waiting for an Ivory Young Patriots kind of group, an ISIS or Al-Qaida prototype? Are we as a country waiting to embrace an Emancipation of Niger Delta kind of movement or a Lord Resistant Army style of group to rear its ugly head here? Absolutely NO!! We therefore, as a matter of complete urgency, nib all activities of these groups in the bud as soon as possible.
Well, just in case, we still take lightly the actions of these groups, then recent happenings in places like Sankore, Kumasi, Sunyani and Tamale,Agbogloshie where such groups have began seizing and sacking government appointees should serve as a premonition of danger ahead, should we sit unconcerned as a nation.
There have been pockets of attacks from these vigilante groups in many parts of Ghana. With its genesis right after NPP lost the 2008 elections. Members of the elephant fraternity were harassed, insulted and attacked; many were hauled from offices, with vehicles, toilets keys and toll-booths fiercely taken away from members. Their reprisal sadly is what we are witnessing shamefully.A trip down memory lane, beginning sometime in July 2016, was an aggressive clash during a by-election in Talensi, in the Upper East Region between Azorka Boys and Bolga Bulldogs.
Early last year at Fiapre near Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region, a tollbooth was burnt down in an attempt to forcefully take over from the operator.
The arsonists even took videos of themselves, while carrying out their criminal conducts.In 2017, invisible forces stormed the premises of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council, demanded the removal of the Regional Security Coordinator, Mr. George Adjei. The swift intervention by the police led to some arrest; unfortunately, in the trial process of these arrested persons some of their members besieged the courtroom in a rambo style to rescue their fellow colleagues.
Candidly, such an act is repugnant and must be frowned upon with strict punishment meted to anyone found culpable. Seizing of tollbooths, toilet facilities, lorry parks and vehicles and offices is uncivilized in a democratic dispensation like ours. However, pointing hands and accusing one another or a political party is not the solution to this creeping national security threat. Rather, both majority and minority rising up to condemn and move for a restriction on these groups is what should be looked at as a sustainable solution to the menace.
Should the need be for a legislative act to disband such groups, I do recommend its passage into law quickly. More so, I humbly entreat our security services to wake up to task in finding hideouts and operational areas of the kingpins of such groups; their activities should be thoroughly regulated and if necessary banned.
Any group or group of persons who starkly disregard laws in this country should be dealt with as a deterrent to others who harbor similar plans and ideas. Caution should also be thrown to political parties who allow such groups to fester and carry out deadly assignments on their behalf in the name of politicking. It has been established without prove that some big wigs within the various political parties do sponsor these groups to carry out their activities.
I believe such monies and support should instead be channeled into building a formidable structure for the parties at the grass-root level rather than using it to fuel and incite violence in all forms and shape.
Curtailing the incessant activities of these vigilante groups should be a collective effort between all political parties especially NPP and NDC, as well as the various security services and stakeholders like the traditional authorities, local council authorities and all powers that be. To the various leaders of such groups, I call on you to restore calm and regulate the actions of your members. Your actions and deeds should be towards nation building and not national destruction.
As I said earlier, no party is oblivious of the role such group play during elections but going beyond their intended purpose is what remains deadly with the potency to assume nationwide character, which in its right sense can be very disastrous for our peaceful co-existence as a people and country.
Ghana cannot afford to accommodate the violent deeds of such groups any longer,do all that it takes to minute their activities,I egg every stakeholder to help in doing so.
God bless our homeland Ghana and make us strong in our quest to halt the unnecessary activities of political vigilante groups before they kill us.
The writer is the Special Assistant to the Member of Parliament for Atwima Nwabiagya South. His views and thoughts on the subject matter is personal and does not represent that of Successafrica.info