President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on Tuesday called false, allegations by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) that the New Patriotic Party (NPP) had sponsored party followers into the National security apparatus.
Responding to a letter written to him by the NDC’s Chairman, Mr Ofosu Ampofo stating the Party’s stand on the President’s call for Dialogue between the NPP and the NDC to fashion a solution to the rise in political violence, President Akufo-Addo said the allegation was ‘palpable falsehood”.
Mr Ofosu Ampofo in a February 28, 2019 letter setting out the position of the NDC to the call made in Parliament by the President in his recent Message on the State of the Nation, alleged that the evidence that had been gleaned at the Emile Short Commission looking into the Ayawaso West Wuogon By-Election disturbances had suggested that there was state-sponsored recruitment of NPP vigilantes into the National Security Council (NSC).
Mr Ampofo had also in the letter called on the President to order the NSC to disband and disarm the “illegal force” it was maintaining, and further alleging that they were being recruited to shore up the NPP’s chances in the 2020 elections.
But President Akufo stated in his response thus, “contrary to your assertion, no evidence has been established at the on-going Short Commission about the sponsorship by the New Patriotic Party of vigilantes into the national security system.
“No such sponsorship has taken place, and none will take place. In any event, it is surely prejudicial to the work of the Commission for citizens to start drawing conclusions on the material before the Commission, prior to the Commission making its own findings and recommendations on the matter.”
The President stated further: “Neither the Government nor the ruling New Patriotic Party made any plans to recruit party thugs for the 2020 general elections.”
“No such directive has been given, nor will any such directive be given, and no such recruitment is taking place. Neither the New Patriotic Party nor I need political party thugs to win the 2020 election. We will do so on the basis of our record, our argument and our values,” the President said.
President Akufo-Addo further registered disquiet regarding the pre-conditions that the NDC had set for the proposed meeting between it and the NPP to forge a common front to end political party violence.
He said though he was encouraged by the “positive nature” of the response of the NDC Chairman’s response to his call for dialogue between the two main political parties, he was taken aback by the misconception and misrepresentation that had characterised the NDC’s response to his call.
The President was insistent that the meeting should hold as soon as possible and “all matters ventilated there, and the outcome of the meeting or meetings will be appropriately addressed.”
The NDC wants the meeting to be extended to include; all political parties, civil society organisations, representatives of the media, security agencies, among other stakeholders.
The party also demanded the inclusion of mediators and facilitators before it took in the dialogue.
However, President Akufo-Addo insisted that the two parties ought to address the issue themselves since they were directly associated with political party vigilantism.
He said there was little basis to include stakeholders in the meeting because “Political party vigilante activities in the country has, unfortunately, been associated with the NPP and the NDC.”
“It is important that we trust in our own capabilities to resolve our own problems. Government stands ready to provide it, if it is the wish of the parties,” he said.