Mr John Boadu, General Secretary of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) says it is the time for the two major political parties to disband militia groupings in the supreme interest of the country.
Mr Boadu, giving a testimony when he appeared before the Emile Short-led Commission of Inquiry at the Osu Castle in Accra said, “Where we are now, we do not need these groups and this is the time.”
“The issues of these members of militia groupings chasing out Mr Akoto Osei in Kumasi; chasing out a hospital administrator and chasing out an official posted to Kumasi as National Security official is regrettable”.
He said any act that was not within the confines of the law was not allowable and that the Government had shown the commitment and political will towards finding lasting solution to the challenge.
When quizzed by Professor Henrietta Mensah-Bonsu, a member of the Commission, if he thought political vigilante groups should continue to exist, Mr. Boadu retorted: “I think that where we are my Lord, no.”
Mr. Boadu, however, denied claims that the vigilante groups were sponsored and financed by the party and that the groups were called upon by the party as and when their services were needed.
He said perceptions of a compromised police service compelled individuals to form groups for purposes of self-defence and one of the ways to address the menace of militias was the Police to remain firm and professional in its duties.
Mr Boadu recounted that, “The Akwatia incident, there was a total breakdown of security as supporters of the NDC refused to allow NPP figure Dan Botwe to work as a polling agent.”
He said the police obliged to the demands of the armed and angry National Democratic Congress (NDC) supporters and moved Dan Botwe from the tensed scene.
Regarding the incident in Chereponi, during a by-election, Mr Boadu recounted how police officers backed the NDC’s agreement it had made with the NPP.
He said, “There was an agreement to have the NDC hold its final rally on Saturday ,while the NPP held theirs on Sunday, the eve of the by-election. The party went ahead to announce it will hold another rally on Sunday in front of the residence of the NPP”.
“The party reported the breach of the agreement to the police commander. They were ignored and were given an explanation that the police were instructed to provide security for both rallies on Sunday.
“More provocations were to follow after NDC supporters organised a route march on Sunday and marched through the same venue where the NPP was arranging their logistics for the rally.
Mr. Boadu, said he had directly benefitted from the services of the Delta and Invincible Forces of the NPP in Asunafo during a registration exercise
“If you take the invincible forces, they are individual groups, not an organ of the party who have sympathies for the NPP…I in person I am a beneficiary of this groupings,” he said