The Minister of Interior, Ambrose Dery, has discredited claims that the Akufo-Addo government only talks big on political vigilantism but does very little to quell it.
According to him, the governing New Patriotic Party (NPP) does not condone such actions.
Citi News has reported on 18 separate violent attacks perpetrated by pro-NPP groups since the beginning of the NPP administration, the latest being the forceful locking up of some offices at the Karaga District Assembly by some NPP youth.
Many have accused the police of reneging on their responsibility in dealing with the surge in such cases.
But speaking to Citi News, Mr. Derry said the police in collaboration with the government, are committed to dealing with these lawless acts head-on.
“…What I can say with pride is that, we are not condoning any actions,” he added.
Ambrose Dery also defended the paltry GHc1,800 fine slapped on each of the 13 members of pro-NPP group, Delta Force, who were hauled before a Kumasi court, after they were captured on a video manhandling the Ashanti Regional Security Coordinator, George Adjei.
Mr. Dery believes government has exhibited ample commitment towards the fight against political party vigilantism in the country, considering that they did not shield the 13 members of the pro-NPP vigilante group, Invincible Forces, but rather allowed them to go through the court process.
He noted that “…Vigilantism is real, and the Akufo-Addo government hasn’t run away from it.”
“…Vigilantism is real, and the Akufo-Addo government hasn’t run away from it. This is the government that has taken people that are known as its supporters and sent to court, they went through due process, they were convicted and they were sentenced.
“I’ve heard people say that the sentences are not harsh enough, but let’s put it in context. The law in the kind of offences they were charged with encourages reconciliation and settlements outside. If you put it in that context, we didn’t even allow a settlement of the matter which would have still been within the law. We sent it there, and it’s not our remit. It’s the remit of the judiciary, and the judiciary has taken a decision – they have been convicted, they have been sentenced… so we need to go beyond mere criticism to find out what are the legal limitations in sentencing. What are the considerations in sentencing; but what I can say with pride is that, we are not condoning any actions,” he explained.
He also called on the public to expose politicians believed to be behind these acts, and further warned the youth to be law abiding.
By: Godwin A. Allotey & Caleb Kudah/citifmonline.com/Ghana