The Director General of the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau (PIPS), COP Nathan Kofi Boakye, has warned of an escalation of violence in the 2020 electioneering period should the country fail to curtail the operations of political vigilante groups.
Political thuggery is a growing concern with political parties actively sanctioning various vigilante groups and their operations.
From the capture of state institutions and facilities to the physical abuse of public appointees and innocent citizens, political vigilante groups are gradually getting entrenched in the country’s body politic.
But speaking at a session of the annual New Year School, the tough-talking police officer said Ghana is headed towards explosion.
“If political thuggery is not stopped now, from 2020 there will be an explosion …As at yesterday, there was the formation of Eastern Mambas and because of the entrepreneurship related to vigilantism, by 2020 you will hear about Ivor Flakes, Kwesi Aning Tigers because now people are going to form groups for hire.”
“I must tell you that these vigilantes have no loyalty to any of the parties…When I see some of these vigilante groups, I cringe because I know them personally. The Police administration from time immemorial has been poised to fight any crime. What we are seeing now is the political thuggery within the parties.”
Speaking at the same event, Security Analyst, Dr. Kwesi Aning, expressed concern about the gradual infiltration of political vigilante groups by radicalized groups.
“I am seeing a more organized approach to vigilantism and their violence. I think some of the groups have been hijacked, particularly the invincibles.”
“Increasingly, we are seeing infiltration by more radicalized groups and more dangerous groups and we are going to see a transformation of these groups increasingly tamed against first those who established them, and eventually against the state of Ghana. This is not Ananse story. We have seen it in Sierra Leone, we saw it in Liberia, we saw it in La Cote D’lvoire and the Ivorian one will remerge.”
There have been a number of attacks staged by vigilante groups under both the previous National Democratic Congress (NDC) administration, and the current New Patriotic Party (NPP) government.
The Minority has blamed President Nana Addo for failing to deal with vigilantism as the Commander in Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces.
Many of the attacks staged by vigilante groups under the Nana Addo administration include the attack on the Tamale Teaching Hospital CEO and the Delta Force court attack among others.