President Nana Akufo-Addo has directed his Attorney-General to prepare and submit to Parliament specific legislation to deal with vigilantism and provide appropriate sanctions against its occurrence.
The President in his 2019 State of the Nations Address in February stated that he will issue a legislation to ban vigilantism in the country should the New Patriotic Party and the National Democratic Congress fail to meet and dialogue to end vigilantism.
21 days after the President’s State of the Nations Address to parliament the two parties have not been able to meet hence the directive to the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice Gloria Akufo to draft legislation.
NPP is yet to invite the NDC to such a meeting while the NDC has asked that mediators be brought to broker an agreement.
The NDC suggestion to expand the meeting has been hailed by 12 civil society organisations but has been frowned upon by the President and his governing party.
After two letters from the NDC to the president pressing him over the inclusion of their suggestions, the President has gone ahead to demand a draft bill on vigilantism.
The President said the new directive is “without prejudice to the outcome of the engagement, if any, between the NPP and NDC”.
With a general election in 2020 not so far off, the government would have some explaining to do over the persisting problem of party militias affiliated to the NPP.
He stated that he has given a copy of Ndc’s letter to the Chairperson of the New Patriotic Party, Mr. Freddie Blay and have asked him to respond to its contents, since he is the rightful person to speak directly for the New Patriotic Party, and expect that he will do so promptly.
Read full response
This is to acknowledge receipt of your most recent letter, dated 11`” March, 2019, and thank you for its contents. My response to it is in two parts.
Firstly, I note that you have, quite properly, given a copy of It to the Chairperson of the New Patriotic Party, Mr. Freddie Blay. I have asked him to respond to its contents, since he is the rightful person to speak directly for the New Patriotic Party, and I expect that he will do so promptly.
Secondly, since the constitutional responsibility of maintaining law and order in our country is that of the Executive, i.e. the President of the Republic, 1 have, in line with my pronouncement to Parliament during the Message on the State of the Nation on 21′ February, 2019, instructed the Attorney General, without prejudice to the outcome of the engagement, if any, between the NPP and NDC, to prepare and submit to Parliament, as soon as possible, specific legislation to deal with the phenomenon of vigilantism, and provide appropriate sanctions against its occurrence.
I believe that the parliamentary process of enactment affords sufficient space for any citizen to make an input or contribution to the enactment of a good and effective law, whose implementation will enable us rid our nation of politically-related violence, a development that can only inure to the benefit of Ghanaian democracy and to the preservation of law and order.
Once again, I thank you for the expression of your commitment to ending the vigilante phenomenon in Ghana.