The governing NPP affiliate vigilante group known as the Delta Force on Friday the 24th of March 2017 invaded the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) attacking the Regional Security Coordinator, George Agye, who was recently appointed to his post by President Akufo-Addo.
It was the second time the fierce group was attacking the council requesting the removal of Mr Agye from the post. The group angrily stated that they wanted one of their members on the seat and cannot work with Mr Agye as he wasn’t part of the struggle to ensure Akufo-Addo’s victory at the December 2016 polls.
The group leader and Ashanti NPP security organiser yelled; “we cannot work with him, where was he when we were struggling for the party to come into power?”
The Delta Force vandalised some properties as they angrily attacked Mr Agye forcing him out of his office. Fortunately, Agye was immediately rescued thanks to a quick intervention by the Ashanti Police.
Although no arrest has been made in the attack, security at the premises has been tightened to ward off any further attacks.
The DCOP Ken Yeboah said that “the gentleman who was attacked said he can identify the people, he is yet to give us that information, meanwhile, we have done our checks and we have some names, so we will make an arrest soon.”
Meanwhile, many political bigwigs have risen to condemn the activities of vigilante groups in the country as it is increasingly getting out of hand.
In addition to the NPP’s Delta Forces, other politically-financed vigilante groups include Bolga Bulldogs, Azorka Boys, and Invincible Forces. During a July 2015 bye-election at Talensi in the Upper East Region members of Bolga Bulldogs and Azorka Boys clashed.
Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, Member of Parliament (MP) for North Tongu appeared on Joy FM/Multi TV’s Newsfile program on Saturday 25th March 2017 condemning the operations of the groups which he described as “troubling.”
The MP said that political parties should refrain from the use of vigilante groups as they have no legal basis. He supported his argument by quoting Chapter 15, Article 202 of the 1992 Constitution which says; “No person or authority shall raise any police except by or under the authority of an Act of Parliament.”
He added; “We no longer can countenance the existence of these groups and no explanation or justification for their operation.”
Also on the Newsfile program, NPP MP for Tempane, Joseph Dindiok Kpemka compared the country’s vigilante groups to the Nigerian sect group Boko Haram, noting that both groups are funded by politicians. He said that vigilante groups in Ghana could turn radical if immediate action is not taken.
The MP concluded, saying; “A full-scale investigation will be conducted into this matter [and] I am having the greatest confidence that it will be dealt with.”
Also The former Minister for Gender, Children and Social Protection, Nana Oye Lithur wrote a letter to the President on the issue calling it a matter of urgency. A Human Rights Lawyer and Campaigner, Oye Lithur said that the peace of the nation would be thrown in jeopardy should the unfortunate activities of vigilante groups continue.
Her letter reads;
Mr. President, Minister of Interior, National Security Advisor, please address with urgency, the operation of vigilante groups and the unlawful extra judicial unorthodox methods being used by the Invincible Forces, Delta Force and other vigilante groups to seek justice or address issues in Ghana.
We have read news reports this evening, 24th March, 2017, that the Delta Force, a vigilante group of the NPP, has forced the Ashanti Regional National Security Director out of his office. The forceful removal of a lawfully appointed public official was violent and blood was shed, with Government property being destroyed.
This adds on to the list of forceful seizure and management of state property, that is, the Kintampo Falls tourist facility, seizure of toll booths, seizure of vehicles etc. These unlawful acts have dire national security implications.
For four months and since elections were held in Ghana on 7th December, 2016, there have been numerous reports of extra judicial and unlawful violent acts by these groups. Ghanaians are peace loving and law abiding. We have been sustained as a nation by respect for the rule of law.
We do not want this violence to escalate, neither do we want this situation to degenerate. I strongly urge our national security agencies to get a grip of this national security issue and solve this security problem.
This should be a top priority for Government. Protect our right to security, our right to human dignity and preserve the rule of law in Ghana. Freedom and Justice.