The National Democratic Congress’ signing of the draft roadmap aimed at ending political vigilantism in Ghana should not be considered a U-turn, according to a member of the opposition party’s delegation at the dialogue, Alex Segbefia.
Speaking on Eyewitness News yesterday, Wednesday, Mr. Segbefia said some of the NDC’s concerns, which compelled the party to refuse to sign the final roadmap, had been addressed.
“We have always indicated that there were certain conditions we would like to have met in order that we could sign and you would realise that in actual fact, some of the conditions have actually been met.”
For one, the party wanted more stakeholders, like the Electoral Commission and security agencies to be signatory to the road map.
“We are informed by the Peace Council that Everybody has signed except one party which is the government itself,” he noted.
Mr. Segbefia stressed that the “thinking that this is just NPP and NDC should cease immediately.”
He further called for commitment from all stakeholders saying “if the parties do not do what they are supposed to do within the context of the roadmap, it becomes a meaningless document.”
One point of concern for the NDC was how the stakeholders would be held accountable.
“Is the Peace Council now going to be a reprimanding body or are they just going to name and shame and expose? All these things were not discussed and these are some of the issues we kind of raised,” Mr. Segbefia indicated.
The Code of Conduct and Roadmap to ending political vigilantism was developed by a technical committee following a series of dialogues organized by the National Peace Council.
The move was necessitated by the violence that marred the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-elections in 2019.
The violence also prompted the Vigilantism and Related Offences Act 2019, which bans acts of vigilantism in the country.
During the by-election at Ayawaso West Wuogon on January 31, 2019, some National Security Operatives fired gunshots at the polling centre at La Bawaleshie, injuring about six persons believed to be NDC supporters.
There were also acts of police brutality caught on camera by journalists sparking outrage and calls for reform of the national security architecting and political party’s engagements of vigilante groups.