New law on party militias sad, longer route to peace – NDC

Source: Ghana| Myjoyonline.com |Abubakar Ibrahim |[email protected]

The opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC) says it is worried the President chose a rather longer option to end party militia.

Peter Otokunor, Deputy General Secretary, said President Akufo-Addo missed the opportunity to bring all stakeholders on board at one place with a moderator after he directed the Attorney General to draft a bill to deal it.

“We thought that will form a strong basis for the work of the AG rather than ask the AG to start work in space; going around and picking information, drafting something that goes through Cabinet and eventually goes through a long process it gets to Parliament and all that.

“We believe the discussions will get the major stakeholders to take some steps before the legislation comes into force,” he told Emefa Apawu on Newsnight Thursday.

The directive to Gloria Akuffo comes 21 days after his 21 February 2019 State of the Nation’s Address to Parliament where he directed his party and the opposition NDC to meet and find a solution to the party militia canker.

Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Gloria Akufo

He promised to push through Parliament, a House his party heavily controls fresh legislation expected to be more punitive.

The only thing which could hold him back was if the NPP and NDC take up his proposal to meet and address the impunity with which organised thugs have harassed political appointees, closed public offices and created insecurity in the country.

While repeating its commitment to resolving the menace, 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 appears frustrated over lack of progress on his proposals. He has gone ahead to demand a draft bill on vigilantism. 

But the NDC says the tone of the President’s directive is worrying.

Peter Otokunor, NDC Deputy General Secretary

Mr Otokunor said perhaps President Akufo-Addo may have to be reviewing his position on the issue on the matter having ceded the leadership of the party to the National Chairman, Freddie Blay to lead the discussion.

He indicated that they will be anticipating the response from Mr Blay.

“It clearly shows that the President has not had a change of mind on his position that the NDC and the NPP are the only groups that can meet. It is rather unfortunate considering CSOs and other groups want a wider scope to find a permanent solution,” he said.

The NDC, he indicated, is expectant that the letter from the NPP side will have “that kind of change of mind.”

Mr Otokunor said the NDC is excited that the President is “gradually awoken” to his responsibility of being cloaked with the authority to protect lives and properties.

 

 

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