The Minister for National Security, Mr Albert Kan Dapaah has warned vigilante groups against carrying out operations in Ghana as they have no legal recognition.
Speaking to the parliament on Thursday, Mr Kan Dapaah urged Members and political actors to avoid bolstering such illegal groups party colours to make the fight against such moves successful.
“Let’s get all such action groups to recognise that they are not to operate in the country and if they do, it will be taken as a law and order issue and they will have to go through the laws of the country as their punishment,” he said.
“I believe it is important that we stop the activities of all such groups irrespective of what political party they are affiliated with, and I continue to urge the house to help us find a solution to this problem.
There has been unrest since the activities of violence of such groups have recently hit the headlines, but Mr Kan-Dapaah said politicising such groups would undermine efforts of security agencies to clamp down on their illegal activities.
Vigilante groups comprise of self-appointed citizens who undertake law enforcement in their community without legal authority, on the assumed grounds that the legal agencies are thought to be inadequate. Post-election times in Ghana have been characterised by the emergence of such illegal groups, often associated with the party that emerges victorious in a general election, and take the law into their hands, maltreating political opponents and vandalising private and state properties.
The Minister stressed that such groups have all the tendencies to create huge security problems in the future. Vigilante groups mentioned include:
- Delta Force group – that recently storm the premises of the Ashanti Regional Coordinating Council and forcibly ejected the newly appointed regional security coordinator, Goerge Adjei from his office.
- Azorka Boys allegedly associated with the minority National Democratic Congress (NDC)
- the NPP’s Invincible Forces, suspected to be associated with the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP), which become very active when either party won power.
Mr Kan-Dapaah assured that efforts were being made to stop vigilante groups “because they have the tendency to degenerate into militant groups that can have serious repercussions on the security of this country.”
Therefore he cautioned that government had made it clear through the Inspector General of Police to deal appropriately with members of such criminals groups according to the law.