The much-touted meeting between the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) over the disbandment of vigilante groups has finally been slated for April 9, 2019.
The National Peace Council, which is going to be the mediator, settled on the date and venue for the meeting which is expected to give the Council the opportunity to table a number of proposals before the two parties to work out modalities to disband their vigilante groups.
The Council invited the parties in a letter dated April 2, 2019 and signed by George Amoh, acting Secretary of the Council.
The letter stated that “for effective discussions, each party is respectively expected to bring not more than seven representatives.”
The meeting is scheduled to start at 10 am at the Central Hotel, near the British High Commission in Accra.
Since President Akufo-Addo asked the two parties to dialogue over political party vigilantism, the opposition NDC has been insisting that the issue requires a national multi-stakeholder engagement to deal with it.
In response to the NPP’s invitation, the NDC, in a letter signed by its Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo, said that they agree that the parties should meet but want the scope to be broadened.
The NDC acknowledged the wisdom in President Akufo-Addo’s drive to pass a legislation to deal with the menace, but maintained that a national consensus on the matter would be necessary.
The NDC said they have “taken the liberty to request the National Peace Council to kindly exercise its statutory mandate and assume the role of a mediator.”
On March 15, the NPP, through its General Secretary John Boadu, officially invited the NDC to a meeting on the disbandment of political vigilante groups, which both parties consider to be a threat to the security of the country.
The NPP took the step in reaching out to the NDC in spite of the President’s directive to the Attorney General to prepare ‘specific’ legislation to deal with the phenomenon of vigilantism and provide appropriate sanctions against its occurrence.”
The NPP, in the letter, said specifically that they are not against any multi-stakeholder engagement, but want the two leading parties to meet first and set the ground rules for subsequent discussions.
The President stated emphatically that the directive to the AG “is without prejudice to the outcome of the engagement between the leading parties.”