Nana Akufo-Addo at a rally in 2016

President Nana Akufo-Addo has dismissed claims by the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) is sponsoring vigilantes into National Security.

It would be recalled that the NDC in its letter responding to the president’s call made on Thursday, February 21, 2019, during the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) in Parliament for the party and NPP to meet and dialogue on the vigilantism menace, accused the ruling party of sponsoring vigilantes into the National Security.

But President Akufo-Addo, in response to the NDC’s letter, said, “No such sponsorship has taken place, and none will take place.”

He described the NDC’s assertion as “prejudicial to the work of the Commission for citizens to start drawing conclusions on the material before the Commission, prior to the Commission making its own findings and recommendations on the matter.”

The president, in a letter addressed to the National Chairman of the NDC, Samuel Ofosu-Ampofo, added, “Secondly, neither the government nor the ruling New Patriotic Party has made any plans to “recruit party thugs for the 2020 general elections. No such directive has been given, nor will any such directive be given, and no such recruitment is taking place.”

The letter indicated that “neither the New Patriotic Party nor I need political party thugs to win the 2020 election. We will do on the basis of our record, our argument and our values.”

According to the letter, “On the matter of the impact of the dialogue on the work of the Short Commission, I see no conflict, and I cannot see how the work of the Commission can be compromised by a voluntary dialogue between the two main political parties in our country.”

Response To Requests

On NDC’s request to extend the call for a disbandment not only to the NPP and the NDC but to all political parties, civil society organisations, media, among others, the president said in the letter that “I am not aware of any vigilante groups that are associated with any of these bodies, as your letter suggests. Political party vigilante activity in the country has, unfortunately, been associated with the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party. I, thus, see little basis for your request.”

“Secondly, your request for mediators and facilitators of the dialogue; I am dismayed, and I believe that the Ghana people share my dismay, that the two parties who have dominated and continue to dominate the politics of the Fourth Republic, who between them have garnered at least 95% of the votes in each of the seven general elections of the Fourth Republic, who are the only parties currently represented in the Seventh Parliament of the Fourth Republic, cannot meet to dialogue on matters of our nation’s governance and political culture, without the intervention of outsiders, including foreign entities, no matter how well-meaning, ” he pointed out.