Chairman of the National Peace Council Rev. Emmanuel Asante in his welcome address said violent vigilante activities had become a security concern to the country’s democracy.
The chairman retreated that politics should not create systems and structures that had the potential of destroying not only the resources of the state but more importantly the peace and harmony that Ghanaians have.
He made these remarks at a Dialogue on Violent Vigilante Groups in Ghana held in Accra and Organized by the NPC with support from British High Commission.
The dialogue brought together stakeholders such as Political Parties, the Police Service and civil society organizations (CSOs) the media and governance institutions.
The dialogue sought to deepen the conversation of finding a lasting solution to the menace created by violent vigilante groups that were ascendancy.
The Director General of Police Intelligence and Professional Standards (PIPS) Commissioner of Police (COP) Kofi Boakye expressed concern about the politicization of crime in the country and stressed that the Politicization of crime was very bad.
He also noted that if the activities of vigilantes are unchecked in the lead up to 2020 presidential and a parliamentary general election every politician was going to have his or her own vigilante group to protect him or her, adding that the number was likely to increase to over 500 groups, which would be dangerous for the country.
The Minister of National Security Hon. Albert Kan Dapaah mentioned current security challenges to include terrorism, cybercrime and political vigilantism.
He said out of that, the most challenging was political vigilantism, which he said was a big dent on Ghana’s democracy and could destroy the country’s peace.
He, however, applauded the NPC for organizing the dialogue to bring together the views of stakeholders to address the Canker.
The Centre for Democratic Development (CDD) showed that currently there were 125 of such groups across the country with Tamale alone having 27, however, the number is likely to increase as the country prepared for the 2020 general election.