President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has been told his entrenched stance that only the two biggest political parties in Ghana should dialogue on ending the menace of political party militia is not feasible.
Political Science lecturer at the University of Ghana, Alidu Seidu believes the negative effects of these groups have become “a national issue and beyond the two parties.”
He said on news analysis show, Newsfile on Saturday that such a dialogue would need a credible mediator, “someone neutral that we [Ghanaians] can all trust.”
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He added that “every stakeholder concerned with peace and security of this nation” should be part of this process.
According to the political scientist, the political parties are beneficiaries of the actions of the militant youth and would, therefore, stifle their abolition if the process is left to them.
“If we leave them alone, it will never happen. They may find a new name and a new way of doing this old thing and then come and present it to Ghanaians as if it is a new solution,” he said.
What did Nana Akufo-Addo say?
In his third State Of the Nation Address, President Akufo-Addo directed the governing NPP and the opposition NDC to meet within a week of his message and dialogue on disbanding party militia.
He added that if the dialogue fails he would initiate legislation on the matter.
After almost a week of not hearing from the NPP, the Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo wrote to the President.
In his letter, Ofosu Ampofo suggested that other political parties, civil society and the media should be invited to join the dialogue.
But in a response that the NDC has described as “surprising,” the president said he sees no basis for the request.
According to him, the suggested groups do not own any “vigilante” groups.
He reinforced his stance in his Independence Day speech on March 6. Akufo-Addo said the NPP and the NDC have jointly garnered 95% of votes since the beginning of the fourth Republic in 1992 and should be capable of deliberating on the matter.
Assessing this, Dr. Seidu said the first gentleman’s response “is not good.”
He has therefore advised the President to direct his party’s Chairman, Freddy Blay to write to the NDC for the deliberations to start as soon as possible and with a mediator, contrary to the President’s wish.