The Director General of the Police Intelligence and Professional Standards Bureau (PIPS), COP Nathan Kofi Boakye, has cautioned of an explosion of violence in the 2020 election if Ghana fails to stop the operations of political vigilante groups in Ghana.
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.
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 political front.
Speaking at a session of the annual New Year School, the tough-talking police officer revealed Ghana will head towards explosion if the operations are not stopped.
“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 Anning Tigers because now people are going to form groups for hire,” he observed.
DCOP Kofi Boakye further stated the vigilante groups are not answerable to any political party in the country.
“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,” he noted.
Speaking at the same event, Security Analyst, Dr Kwesi Aning, also expressed concern about the gradual infiltration of political vigilante groups by radicalised groups.
“I am seeing a more organized approach to vigilantism and their violence. I think some of the groups have been hijacked; particularly the invincible 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 re-emerge”.
The incumbent president Nana Akufo-Addo has been blamed by the opposition National Democratic Congress for what it calls failure on the part of the government to stop these groups.
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.
The likes of the hawks, Delta force, Azorka Boys, Bolga Bull Dogs, Invincible Forces, Bamba Boys, the Kandahar Boys and other groups identified as Aluta Boys, Nima Boys, Salifu Eleven, Zongo Caucus, Verandar Boys, Supreme, Mahama Boys, Delta Force, Badariba, Basuka Boys and Bindiriba are all groups believed to have affiliations with the major political parties in Ghana.