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Disband your vigilante groups to serve as deterrent – Ex-CID boss to gov’t

A former Director General of the Police CID, COP Bright Oduro (rtd) has called on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) government to show leadership in ending vigilantism by publicly announcing the disbandment of its vigilante groups.

He believes this will end vigilantism, given that most of these groups are usually affiliated with political parties.

“I have said that the ruling government should clearly come out and say that we denounce and disband our vigilantes and I believe the others will take a cue because if even the ruling parties do not see anything wrong with vigilantes, how would individuals see anything wrong with it?”

“The security agencies are there, the Police are there and the military is also there so if the ruling party clearly show that they have disbanded their vigilante groups, the others will not use vigilante groups because they know the Police will be on them. It is the fear of arresting vigilantes that is causing the problem,” he added.

His comments follow the second vigilantism dialogue by both the leadership of the NDC and NPP on Monday.

The NPP and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) at the meeting agreed to commence a discussion on the elimination of vigilantism with other key stakeholders and experts.

The representatives shall include representatives of Civil Society Organisations, Security Agencies and religious bodies.

This was captured in a communiqué signed by Chairmen of both NDC and NPP, Samuel Ofosu Ampofo and Freddie Blay respectively as well as the Chairman of the dialogue, SKB Asante.

“After an open and exhaustive deliberation, the parties agreed on the immediate scope of the dialogue. In this regard, the parties agreed to commence a discussion on the elimination of vigilantism with other stakeholders and experts. These stakeholders shall include representatives of Civil Society Organisations, Security Agencies and religious bodies.”

The first meeting generated a lot of controversy with the parties accusing each other of bad faith.

The General Secretary of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) Asiedu Nketia expressed disappointment in the outcome of the first meeting.

Speaking on Eyewitness News after the meeting earlier in April, Asiedu Nketia said his expectations were not met because the NPP and NDC could not agree on the scope of discussion.

“Generally the summary of my impression is that I was disappointed about the outcome of the meeting,” he said.

But the Director of Communications of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Yaw Buabeng Asamoah, on the other hand, threatened a halt in the ongoing discussions saying the General Secretary of the NDC was acting in bad faith.

He contended that the decision of the latter to put a spin on talks that were held behind closed doors in the public domain was in breach of the rules of engagement.

“How can an eminent politician like Asiedu Nketia go round saying things that indeed I can just say is an interpretation of his own facts. I will not breach the trust except to say that if he continues that way, he will break the trust,” he said.

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