Former President John Dramani Mahama is warning that Ghana is entering what he calls dangerous times with the rise in vigilante groups in the country.
A major part of last year saw a wave of attacks by pro-New Patriotic Party vigilante groups – Delta and Invincible Forces – causing a sense of insecurity nationwide.
Speaking in an interview with Abdul Moomen on GTV, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Ghana’s democracy, Mr Mahama called on civil society organisations to assist in addressing the issue to ensure the gains made with the peace and stability of the 4th Republic are not eroded.
“Ghana has earned the accolade as the beacon of democracy because the elections was largely successful and it’s not broken down into violence and bloodshed like we have seen in many other countries. But let me caution we are entering into a very dangerous phase with the rise of all these vigilante groups,” Mr. Mahama warned.
He added: “I’ve heard NPP apparatchiks say they will not abolish the vigilantes and they are going to use them to guard. They have groups in every region and they have different accolades. In most regions, we don’t have vigilante groups, if you’re asked to mention any name in NDC the only name they will mention is Azorka Boys. The NPP formed those groups because they said they have no trust in the security services to protect them.”
Mr. Mahama is urging civil society organisations to step in before the situation gets out of hand.
“If NDC decided to also in every region set up those groups what can we expect. That is why Civil Society must speak to this vigilantism in a major way because it has the tendency to lead us into a spiral of violence.
“Not only in respect of political clashes but after elections how to handle those boys become something. These are boys you train to be physical and to do all kinds of things and then you come to office that is the problem the NPP is suffering. Finding jobs for those boys to keep them busy; because if they are idle you never know what they will get involved in,” Mr. Mahama opined.