The National Democratic Congress (NDC) has signed the Code of Conduct and Roadmap to ending political vigilantism, with a call on the National Peace Council (NPC) to take steps to help eliminate the scourge of vigilantism in the country.
The National Chairman of the NDC, Mr Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, and General Secretary, Mr Johnson Asiedu Nketia, yesterday signed the document in the presence of the Chairman of the NPC, Most Rev. Prof. Emmanuel Asante, at a short ceremony at the office of the NPC.
Code of conduct
The Code of Conduct and Roadmap to ending political vigilantism was developed by a technical committee following a series of dialogues organised by the NPC after a by-election to elect a new Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon on January 31, 2019 was marred by violent incidents at a polling station
The 31-page roadmap has what the parties need to do in the short, medium and long term to eradicate political vigilantism from Ghana’s political dispensation.
Though the NDC had proposed that the NPC acted as a mediator for the process that would lead to disbanding political vigilante groups in the country, it refused to sign the document when it was put together.
While the New Patriotic Party (NPP), represented by its General Secretary, Mr John Boadu, at a ceremony on February 4, 2020 signed the document, the NDC declined to sign as its representative at that event, Mr Alex Segbefia, intimated that he was not qualified to sign it.
He further argued that the signing of the document was premature, since it could be improved.
However, last week, the party indicated its readiness to now sign the document and followed it through by calling at the NPC’s office yesterday to honour that commitment.
Committed to roadmap
In a brief remark after signing the document, Mr Ofosu Ampofo said while the NDC was ready and committed to go by the roadmap, it expected the Peace Council to strictly adhere to it.
“We are prepared to go the full hog with the roadmap and the peace accord but we have indicated in our signing of the 22 key deliverables set out by the Peace Council under the code of conduct and the peace accord that the political parties can only enforce four; the remaining 18 are enforceable by government and so it will take commitment on the part of the government to ensure that we realise the code of conduct and the peace agreement that we’ve signed,” he said.
He said the government on the other hand, had not shown commitment to the roadmap and expressed the hope that the NPC would ensure that everyone complied with the roadmap.
“For us, we don’t see the commitment on the part of the government because when the Emile Short Committee was set up, key recommendations were made. We thought that it was an opportunity for government to show commitment to the fight against vigilantism.
“All those who were culpable and found guilty by the commission have been let off the hook. Those who were seen beating and slapping people who came and confessed that they did that act have all been freed and no action has been taken against them,” he stated.
The National Communications Director of the NDC, Mr Kakra Essamuah, told the Daily Graphic that while the party was committed to the roadmap, it expressed the hope that the NPC would resolve the simmering tension in the country, particularly as another general election approaches.
NPC won’t be silent
Most Rev. Prof. Asante gave an assurance that the NPC will not be silent in enforcing the dictates of the roadmap.
“It is our wish that in the interest of our country, the peace of our country, the development of our country, the country we all have, we will do everything to ensure justice and peace and as a national institution not committed to any one side of the political divide, we’ll do the best that we can to bring attention to the concerns that have been raised at the appropriate time,” he said.