The immediate-past General-Secretary of the Christian Council of Ghana has commended the President for his directive to the two main political parties to take steps to disband their militia groups.
Reverend Dr Kwabena Opuni-Frimpong said the call to action by President Nana Akufo-Addo during his State of Nation Address to Parliament last Thursday, was very encouraging.
He said, that suggested that the President was listening to the recent public outcry on the need to disband the political militants.
According to him, the President’s one week call on the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) to dialogue, disband and disarm the militant groups is “very good”.
He said a dialoguing process was a very good start since both parties “have all hurt each other through the acts of vigilantism and therefore one way of healing themselves was through the dialogue-sitting down and talk”.
“So the dialogue is helpful-that we do not start with legislation and law but dialogue, which will give us a lasting resolution”.
He pleaded to the leadership of NPP and NDC to accept the call to attend the dialogue.
“They must accept that Ghanaians are not comfortable about the presence of political militias and they must respond to the concerns and the fears of Ghanaians.”
Rev Opuni-Frimpong said what Ghanaians needed now was at least, the acceptance of the Political Parties within the one-week dialogue timeline given by the President.
At least they can meet within the one-week call to start the process, after which, they could come out and ask for more time to address the issues, he said.
The Reverend said the two parties would also need an “honest broker” or a mediator, who would be a third party in the person of an individual or a group of persons or even an institution, which they could all trust and respect just like in the Dagbon experience.
He explained that the broker would be considered as a fair party who would deal fairly with all the two sides during the dialoguing processes in case of a deadlock.
“It could be a well-respected traditional ruler like the Asantehene, the Okyehene, the chief of Asogli, or even entities like the ECOWAS, the African Union or United Nations when it became more entrenched.
He expressed his happiness that both former Presidents Rawlings and Kufuor have all supported the call to dialogue and have asked the parties to take advantage to deal with the phenomenon.
Rev Opuni-Frimpong said as a long term measure, Ghana would still need a law or legislation to deal with these vigilante and militants groups, adding that, for now, there was no need to start with legislation, “I pray and hope we don’t get there for now”.
Again, he praised President Akufo-Addo for his comment to the effect that “his eyes are not on the next election but on the next generation”.
He asked all the political party activists to make that statement of the President, as their philosophy and think about the well-being of the next generation and Ghana ahead of them- if they really have their eyes on the next generation”.