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29 June 2016

Vigilantism Down To ‘System Breakdown’ – NPP

Nana Obiri BoahenThe presence of party-affiliated vigilante groups in the country is due to the longstanding impunity thugs aligned to the governing National Democratic Congress (NDC) enjoy, Nana Obiri Boahen, a deputy general secretary of the opposition New Patriotic Party (NPP), has said.

Mr Obiri Boahen was reacting to a call by the Minister for the Interior, Prosper Bani, at the Police National Command conference on Friday June 24 that vigilante groups be outlawed. The IGP, Mr John Kudalor, has also expressed his commitment to ensure the vigilante groups are banned ahead of elections this year.

But speaking on Accra100.5FM’s morning show, Ghana Yensom, on Monday June 27, 2016, the former Deputy Minister for the Interior said the prevalence of vigilantism was “…because the system is unable to address issues appropriately”.

He cited several instances of violence involving NDC sympathisers, which had gone unpunished by law enforcers because they were in the “good books of the government”.

Mr Obiri Boahen recalled the failure of the police to prosecute two young men arrested at Gyinyase in the Ashanti Region for attempting to destroy materials at a registration centre during the recent limited voter registration exercise. He also wondered what happened to the wife of a district chief executive – an appointee of President John Mahama – who assaulted an NPP legislator at Kenyasi.

The police, he continued, turned a blind eye to violence that was visited on the Member of Parliament for Asutifi North, Joseph Benhazin Dahah, this year, by thugs allegedly led by a brother of Collins Dauda, currently Minister of Local Government and Rural Development.

“Who is the man to go arrest that NDC boy? Ask Prosper Bani himself, or the IGP that those boys, who went to beat up the NPP MP, if they are men enough they should leave Accra and attempt arresting those boys. They are untouchable,” he lamented to host Chief Jerry Forson.

He said the impunity went as far back as 2009 when some NDC supporters attacked and killed persons believed to be sympathisers of the NPP. According to him, a Minority press conference, which identified the perpetrators, was not acted on by the police. “They are still roaming in the streets of Accra. They are untouchable. The system has broken down,” he stressed.

He compared the situation in the country to Tripoli in current times, where a breakdown in law and order had ensured that almost everyone felt he owned a part of the city.

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