The two major political parties showed commitment on Tuesday as high-powered delegations from their respective folds met the National Peace Council (NPC) at the start of a dialogue to disband militia groups.
According to Media General’s Martin Asiedu-Dartey, the two parties presented crack teams for the talk, which was held behind closed-doors.
The New Patriotic Party (NPP) was led by National Chairman Freddie Worsemao Blay. In attendance was a former General Secretary, Daniel Botwe, who is the current Member of Parliament for Okere Constituency.
The National Democratic Congress (NDC), which suggested the Council to be mediators, had National Chairman Samuel Ofosu Ampofo leading its team. General Secretary Johnson Asiedu Nketia, Communications Director Kakra Essamuah, former National Security Minister Kofi Totobi Quakyi and legal team member Abraham Amaliba were also in attendance.
The Council, our reporter noted, had former Church of Pentecost Chairman Apostle Opoku Onyinah and the Presiding Bishop of the Action Chapel International, Nicholas Duncan-Williams, in attendance.
The meeting is expected to set modalities on the process of disbanding the vigilante groups, among which are Invisible Forces, Delta Forces, Kandahar Boys and Bolga Bull Dogs for the NPP and the Hawks and Azorka Boys for the NDC.
A decision is also expected to be taken whether to allow other political parties to join the talk.
Public outcry to have political parties disband their vigilante groups reached a head on January 31, 2019, when some persons believed to be members of pro-NPP vigilante group Invisible Forces, clad in National Security outfits, stormed some areas within the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constitution during the by-election to get a replacement for late lawmaker Emmanuel Kyeremanteng.
A commission of inquiry was inaugurated by government to look into the issues.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo in his February 21, 2018 state of the nation address asked the ruling party, NPP, to make overtures at the largest opposition party, NDC, for the menace to be staunched.
He has since directed the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Gloria Akuffo, to lay a legislation in Parliament to have a stance taken against the menace.
“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,” the president had stated in a letter dated March 14, 2019, responding to Mr Ofosu Ampofo’s.