The Minority in Parliament wants civil society groups to take up a prominent role in facilitating the meeting between the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to end political violence and vigilantism.
According to him, owing to recent allegations against the NPP over the training of a “militia” group at the Osu Castle, the mistrust between the two parties has been heightened.
Addressing the press, the Deputy Minority Leader, James Avedzi said a trusted facilitator to mediate such a meeting was imperative.
“Civil society groups and faith-based organisations should now assume a prominent facilitation role in the proposed talks to disband all party militias seeing that government can no longer be trusted, as a culpable party.”
The Minority’s call is in line with the NDC’s letter to the President on February 28, where the main opposition party requested for a third party like the National Peace Council and other civil society groups to mediate the dialogue between the parties.
But President Nana Akufo-Addo, in his response, said he saw “little basis” for some of the requests the NDC made.
“I am dismayed, and I believe that the Ghanaian people share my dismay, that the two parties who have dominated and continue to dominate the politics of the fourth republic…cannot meet to dialogue on matters of our nation’s governance and political culture without the intervention of outsiders. It is important that we trust in our own capabilities to resolve our own problems.”
The NDC had also requested for the other opposition parties to be included in the dialogue but President Nana Akuf0-Addo noted that political vigilantism “has unfortunately been associated with the National Democratic Congress and the New Patriotic Party.”
In a pledge of support, President Akufo-Addo added that the “government stands ready to provide a venue if it is the wish of the parties.”
Delivering his 2019 State of the Nation Address in Parliament, President Akufo-Addo said he had instructed the leadership of the NPP, which he belongs to, to extend an invitation to the opposition NDC to discuss how to disband their respective vigilante groups.