An elder of the Convention People’s Party (CPP), Mr Robert Okyere Frimpong-Manso, has said any discussions on ending the worrying trend of party vigilantism should not be limited to the two political parties — NPP and NDC — alone but it must include all registered political parties and other key stakeholders.
Lauding President Akufo-Addo’s appeal to the leaders of the two main political parties — NPP and NDC — to agree on appropriate measures to bring an end to the unacceptable and worrying trend of party vigilantism in the country, he however, said “it is important the discussions on voluntary disbandment of vigilantes is not limited to the NPP and NDC alone.”
Speaking to the Daily Graphic by a telephone from his base in Kumasi in the Ashanti Region, the 79-year-old man, popularly called R.O., said the vigilante issue was assuming an alarming dimension, and as such must not be treated lightly.
“We are talking about the security of the nation and we need all hands on deck to nip the rising canker in the bud,” he stressed.
In the view of Mr Frimpong-Manso, who traced his political history from Ghana’s First President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah, political party vigilantism was deeply rooted in the activities of both the NPP and the NDC, and that its voluntary disbandment by the two parties would not come easy if there was no goodwill.
Mr Frimpong-Manso who is a former Vice-Chairman of the Council of Elders of the CPP and the Ashanti Regional Organiser of the Ghana Young Pioneers, noted that it would not be an easy task to disband the party vigilantes if there was no goodwill from the beneficiaries.
Today, according to Mr Frimpong-Manso, it is the NPP and NDC who are engaged in party vigilantism but tomorrow it could be the CPP or PPP, and for that reason no effort should be spared to get rid of the canker in its entirety now.
He noted with regret that “there is an existing criminal law in the country but the police are ineffective to enforce it because they are always under the control of the political party in power.
This is the more reason why we need a broad stakeholder debate and exchange of ideas on the voluntary disbandment of party vigilantisms to inject trust and confidence in the whole process.
He also stressed the need for a national agenda that would include security matters.
Expatiating further, he said that elsewhere in the advanced world, there was continuity of the national agenda, saying “the situation where in Ghana, projects are curtailed with a change of government undermines sustainable development.
He said that Ghana was 62 years old and could only boast significant infrastructure built by Dr Kwame Nkrumah.
Mr Frimpong-Manso, who spent years in exile in London, said there should be no reason why the nation’s peace and security should be compromised.