Chairman of the National Peace Council Reverend Professor Emmanuel Asante has lashed out at the police for relenting in the fight against political vigilantism in the country. Professor Asante was among four speakers at the 3rd edition of the Accra Dialogues series held on Wednesday.
The 3rd edition of Accra Dialogues on Wednesday was themed ‘The Scars of Vigilantism: A Legal or Political Question’.
Held at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), the programme sought to address the age-long issue of vigilantism in the country through a dialogue among practitioners in the area of security, law and governance.
Speakers took turns to discuss the issue of vigilantism highlighting the threats and damages it has on Ghana as well as proffering solutions on the way forward in dealing with the menace.
Taking his turn on the podium, Rev Prof Asante said vigilantism is a crime, hence the police ought to deal with those who attack people and destroy properties under the guise of vigilante groups.
“The police do not need a directive from the president or Minster of Interior to carry out their mandate.” He expressed belief that the security personnel ought to be more prudent in dealing with vigilante groups and not allow any interference in combating crime.
“There can be no order from above to undermine the combat of crime. Such an order undermines the rule of law.”
Joseph Nunoo-Mensah also cautioned politicians to desist from making campaign promises they cannot fulfil.
He chastised the entire country for downplaying the impact of vigilante activities on the security of Ghana. “Vigilantism is a crime. But we gave it colourful names and praises. We have spared the rod, and spoiled the child.”
He stated that although vigilantism is an age-old menace, there is seeming braveness of vigilante groups as a result of the forces behind their operations.
The former National Security Advisor, therefore, charged government, security agencies and the entire nation to remain resilient in tackling the issue and move beyond mere talk.
Other speakers such as Dr. Kwasi Aning, Director of Academics and Research at the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Center, and a Political Science Lecturer at the University of Ghana, Dr. Seidu Alidu, all called on the government to move beyond talks and take bold steps in curbing the menace.
The Accra Dialogue is a platform that was created three years ago by the Institute of Law and Public Affairs and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung Ghana to bring together leading thinkers and practitioners to scrutinize key issues of national concern.