The Chairperson of the National Commission for Civic Education (NCCE), Madam Josephine Nkrumah has described acts of vigilantism as criminal and has asked politicians to stay away from medling in it and to allow the police to deal ruthlessly with the perpetrators.
She has therefore called on Ghanaians to delink activities of vigilante groups from politics, a solution she said, would help to treat such acts “as crimes properly so-called which would be firmly fixated in the domain of the police.”
Madam Nkrumah says, in view of the damage the activities of vigilante groups could cause to people and property, she was unhappy with the form of punishment meted out to individuals who engage in acts of violence in the country.
She described it as “a slap on the wrist” and lamented that, the sentencing regime is not severe for a country that wants to stem the tide of activities of vigilante groups.
“How can we increase the sentencing regime to make it deterrent enough for perpetrators to understand that, if you get yourself in this [vigilantism] there are strong sanctions?” she said, advocating harsher punishments.
The nation has recorded a string of violent activities carried out by vigilante groups since the victory of the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) was announced in 2016.
But no one has been jailed for the many violent attacks despite assurances from the government and the police to make perpetrators account for their acts.
The recent incident happened during the Ayawaso West Wuogon by-election on January 31, where some supporters of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) were attacked by men from the National Security.
The NDC has hinted it would “match the NPP boot-for-boot” at the 2020 general elections, a development security experts have described as worrying.
Madam Nkrumah believes the politicization of the Ghana Police Service plays a major drawback, undermining efforts aimed at arresting the situation.
“We must look at ways of insulting the police from political intrusion and infiltration, which more or less immobilizes them,” she said.
Source: The New Independent