Party hooliganism: Take the lead, show us more action – Bentil charges Akufo-Addo

General News

Vice president of policy think tank IMANI Ghana, Kofi Bentil, has charged the president to stop the talk and take an action against vigilantism in the country.

He believes that the only person who can put a stop to the phenomenon is the president, Nana Kufo-Addo and until he does that, nothing will change.

Speaking on Joy FM’s Super Morning Show on Monday, Mr Bentil in reference to President Akufo-Addo’s charge to the clergy to speak against vigilantism said, the entire country is already speaking against the menace and that it was his duty to act.

He said although the president is not wrong in asking civil society, in this case, the clergy to help in dealing with the issue, “we cannot forget the fact that it is he the president who has to take the first step.

“So it was not a wrong call, it was just very curious. We think the president should be taking more action, he should be showing more passion,” he added.

Supporters of the New Patriotic Party since the party won the 2016 elections have been on the rampage.

The hooligans have, almost immediately after President Akufo-Addo took office, vandalised government property, locked offices and sacked workers who were appointed under the previous administration from their post.

In some instances, they have abused members of their own party, demanded in violent fashion the removal of others and the most shocking of all stormed a court in the Ashanti region, releasing some of their members who were on trial for similar offences.

While their actions have been publicly condemned by the public, real action in terms of arrests and prosecutions has not been seen.

Related: NPP condemns post-election attacks, charges supporters to be calm

The president has on various platforms condemned the acts and pledged to deal with the perpetrators, but until now, it has all talks.

Mr Bentil admits that in order to do something about the situation, the processes must work.

But for him, a lot of the work lies with the president, “he should take the lead by showing us more action and he should prepare for more criticism of what he does, whether it is sufficient or not,” he said.

Mr Bentil believes that in 10 months, the government has not done enough and has been ineffective in dealing with vigilantism, even if they have, the results for him are unsatisfactory.

In his view, no one is to blame but the executive, the police and security services on whom the onus lie to arrest the canker.

He fears that if nothing is done about the situation now, it will come back to haunt the president and his party when they are running for another election, “and it will be difficult to defend it if they don’t come up with some really quick solution to [deal with] the situation as soon as they can.”

He said while the president advises that people talk about the menace and criticise his government, he should speak to his appointees who seem intolerant of criticism.

“The most important thing is for him to alert his people who are very sensitive to any form of criticism. So that when people criticise and ask for certain things, even if they are not asking properly, they will be given a proper answer and not be rebutted viciously.”

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