Journalist and anti-corruption campaigner Manasseh Azure Awuni wondered whether or not the President, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, is aware that notwithstanding the law prohibiting the existence of “vigilante” groups, those of them affiliated to the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) are still active, and are being aided by appointees of his.
Following revelations that the Kandahar Boys, an NPP vigilante
group, carted away tricycles belonging to the Northern Development Authority(
NDA) from its premises with the approval of some appointees of the President,
the journalist is wondering what has become of the law.
He doubts whether the President’s word on issues can be
trusted in the clear violation of the law which was at the instance of the
President and his pledge to enforce it.
“President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, have you heard
that long after you passed a law disbanding all political vigilante/militia
groups in Ghana, the Kandahar Boys in Tamale are not only active, but your
appointees are allegedly handing state assets (tricycles) to them? As your
citizen, can I put more weight on your words than the weight one would put on
the promises a man makes to a woman at a time “his body is
coming”?” He wrote.
In September last year, President Nana Addo Dankwa
Akufo-Addo gave his assent to the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act, 2019,
which bans acts of vigilantism in Ghana, disbands vigilante groups, including
political party vigilante groups and land guards.
“A person who directly or indirectly instigates or solicits the activity of a vigilante, facilitates or encourages vigilantism, or conceals a vigilante to avoid lawful arrest, commits an offence, and is liable, on conviction, to a term of imprisonment of not less than ten (10) years and not more than fifteen (15) years,” he had stated when he made his assenting the bill public at the 2019 Bar Conference.
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Notwithstanding, political party vigilante groups continue
to exist, and are manifestly active.